The sea Queen ; Holly Ringland

Posted on ژوئیه 21, 2008


My dearest Pearl,

I do hope this letter finds you, and finds you well sweet girl.

I was sitting on my verandah on Sunday morning, flicking through the paper when all of a sudden, in grainy black and white under my gardening gloves, there you were. I would recognise those eyes anywhere. It would seem that your life as an artist is an incredible success, though I’m not at all surprised. I knew from the few times I held you when you were born that you were capable of magic things. I remember marvelling at your green eyes that looked as wise as an old owl’s when you were just a newborn. I knew then you’d do something extraordinary with your life. I said to your father, on more than one occasion, that you were the calmest baby I’d ever seen and a baby that calm, would do nothing but make beautiful things out of their days. And here you are doing just that.

I hope you don’t mind, but I called the newspaper office in the city and they gave me your contact postal address. The lovely receptionist there told me yours is still a silent world and so I’d be best writing you a letter. You know honey, to be honest, I wish I could just shut myself up sometimes too and do nothing but listen and take in what’s around me. I think you must know so much about the world that the rest of us who talk too much don’t.

Pearl, I do have a habit of chatter, especially when I’m nervous and that doesn’t change whether I’m talking on the phone, over my roses to the postie or writing a letter.

Thing is love, I have never stopped thinking of you. In all I’ve learned, I understand that sometimes there are cuts so deep, they can’t ever heal properly. It will sadden me always that your father and grandfather could never come to see eye to eye. And after the loss of your mother, well, their rift only deepened. Your Da was never the same. Try as we did, he demanded your grandfather and I leave the two of you be. While I begged and pleaded with your father to try and tie our worlds together, your grandfather could be an old mule at times and dug his heels in and wouldn’t budge. Neither of them would have it; they were as stubborn as each other. It was easier for your Da I suppose, to keep his grief to himself than to let us share the weight of it, forcing him to face the awful absence of your enchanting mother. And enchanting she was dear, that girl could sing raging seas to sleep I’m sure. She had your father under spell, that’s for certain. He didn’t know how to be himself after she was gone. I was so worried for you both. But that’s all he wanted; life in that house by the sea with you and that’s that. When days turn into months that turn into years and phone calls go unanswered and letters get returned, after a while I suppose some mightn’t realise how much time has passed…though I never forgot. A mother never forgets a day without her child. I etched each day of your father’s silence in my mind like a prisoner keeping tally on their cell wall. It’s taken a long time but in the many years that have passed between then and now, I suppose I’ve learned to accept your father’s decision to deny us your guardianship. When we found out, I went out into my garden as mad as a bee and broken as an empty eggshell, but your grandfather tried to convince me that your father had his reasons.

After we lost your Da, your grandfather fell suddenly ill and although I got some good years with him, he just couldn’t recover. It was a stroke. He fought the good fight, but God rest his soul, though he did his best, he’s with your father now and I hope, in peace. So I find myself a widow. It’s a strange thing being alone after being someone’s somebody for near forty years Pearl. I catch myself watching your grandfather’s favourite reading chair by the window, expecting him to just be there, licking his middle finger and pressing it to his thumb to turn a page. But of course, he’s not. I figure though, I don’t need to explain that to you at all, love. I know you’ve had your own path to walk with loneliness and silence in your life.

I suppose underneath it all, the purpose of this letter is to tell you that any time you feel like taking a drive, I’m an old lady with a big house who would dearly love the company of my granddaughter with the owl eyes. There are two teacups in my cupboard that I bought at the markets last week. I was thinking of you actually as I wandered amongst the cluttered colourful stalls and suddenly, there they were. Dusky pink roses on robin’s-egg blue china, with matching saucers. I would love to one day use them for us to share a pot of rose leaf tea. And I have a bottle of brandy I keep under the sink if you’re so inclined. It just tastes like nectar when you mix it with steaming rose leaves.

Any time you hanker for a drive to the coast, you just drive on into my old drive way here. And don’t worry about letting me know you’re coming, or not having too much to say. I’ll do enough talking for the both of us.

With much love,

P.S. I’ve enclosed directions, to help you find your way.