Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your eyes on the sea
Cast your eyes on the ocean
And remember me
“I’ll be back in six months, I promise, Heidi. Six months and I’ll be back.”
That had been a year ago. One whole, worry-filled, tear-filled year. One year of sadness and longing for the day when he would return.
One year and he was still not back.
“And what if you get attacked by pirates? Or what if the English find you and make you sail their ships?”
At first, she had hoped. Sometimes ships came in late. What difference did it make if he was not back exactly at six months? There could have been a number of things that went wrong. EVen the winds could have stalled for some time. So she thought as seven months rolled around.
“I’ll still come back, Heidi, I’ll fight off the pirates or the British for you.”
When seven months came, she knew it was no normal delay. Desperately, she combed the docks, looking for anyone who had seen his ship or who knew where he could be. Anxiously, she hoped some letter would come, telling of his whereabouts, but nothing came.
“What if there is a storm and you are swept out to sea?”
Eight months came and still there was no news, no letter. She started to lock herself in her room, looking out the window, looking towards the sea. She learned the pattern of the gulls, as they dived into the water and perched on the cliffs. She watched the ships come in and out of the harbor, many ships, but not his.
“I’ll swim the sea, just to see you again.”
Nine months past. Her father insisted she was overreacting about loosing just a friend. He forced her to go out, go to parties, just to have fun. She did not want to, but she did anyway.
“In only six months?”
Eleven months. Still no news. No sign of the black-haired lad she grew up with, who she played hide-and-seek with around the house, who taught her how to climb trees, who told her first, before anyone else, that he wanted to be a sailor. A respectable, young man from a near by town requested to court her, but she politely declined. Her heart belonged to that lad.
“I’ll be back. I’ll come back for you.”
Twelve months, six months overtime. Her father ordered her to stop dreaming of him. She was wasting her youth away dreaming of some poor servant's child. when she better things to do with her life. After all, he was only a friend.
What her father did not know was that day before he left, he said he loved her, They had a relationship deeper than friendship, They had love, love which the sea had taken.
“If you do not believe me, look to the sea. I will be watching the same sea, and thinking of you.”
The rose petals looked strange as they floated out to sea. Six months, he had said, and he had been gone twice that time. Her father was right, it was time to move on, even if her heart refused. She loved him, that would always be true, but she needed to let the sea have what it had taken.
“If I tarry even one day, cast your eyes to the sea and believe I shall be back soon.”
So the rose petals drifted off to sea. ACross the water they went, little specks of something that had been more than friendship.
“I will be waiting for you. Everyone day I shall look to the sea and wait for you. Come back saftely, Samuel.”
Across the sea, a man whose age was hard to tell, a youth whose youth was take from him by seven months in prison, gaunt and pale, looked out to the sea through the prison bars, looked out to the sea that separated him from his love and thought of that day, long ago, when he told her he loved her.
“I love you, Heidi. I always will. And I’ll come back for you. For you, my love, I will be back.”