The sea has all along been trying to tell those on the shore

POSTED: Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:44 pm

The sea was a grand thing, and untouchable.

Daddy sometimes told stories of the ocean, and the other grown-ups did, too. It was a romanticized thing, a place where sea glass of all colors dazzled on the beach, where mystical talking fish breached the waves, where the sun was born and rose each morn. Galilee did not yet understand concepts like culture or identity, but it was clear that the sea was something great and important and special, and she wanted to see it, to play in the waves, to experience this magic.

Daddy never let her go.

Galilee hadn’t quite conceptualized “fairness” yet either, but she threw tantrums regardless and appealed to her mother. She got to walk the beach sometimes, but never touch the water, even when the foam climbed up the beach and its scent tantalized her. It was explained by all her guardians that it was because “Daddy said no,” and Lee asked “why” and hated their evasiveness.

So when she heard the ocean’s roar and her paws stumbled along the verge of dry shoregrass and grainy sand, Galilee screwed up her face and ran.

And was caught within a few strides by her laughing, chiding babysitter.

“Not so fast, young lady,” said Shiloh, and Lee squirmed angrily. “What have we told you about running ahead of us? You’ll get hurt, remember?”

protested Lee.

“Remember when you ran ahead and tumbled into the caverns? That hurt, right?”

The pumpkin-colored puppy stopped squirming and grimaced. It hadn’t hurt all that badly, in her opinion—the valley had been snowy—but mostly she remembered her father’s laugh followed by the shock and fear when he saw her land, and she’d not liked that look on his face at all. It was rare that the wolfdog wasn’t smiling, and when he got scared that had scared her, and that had been why she’d started crying, not because she’d been hurt.

“We’ll go someday. We’ll let your daddy take you.”

“Daddy won’t take me,”
complained Galilee, but Shiloh stroked her ears the way she liked and set her down.

The Dawnbringer woman smiled kindly at her. “Here, why don’t I show you someplace else? I think you’re big enough.” And that piqued the puppy’s interest, and she followed along mostly docilely as Shiloh strode down the beach.

They came over a small rocky ridge, and Galilee paused at the top, staring down with ears pricked. She saw sand and water, smelled salt, and delighted at the appearance of little shells in the rocks, too. At a nod from Shiloh, she launched herself forward and splashed in the brackish stream, shrieking with delight.

“It’s part of the estuary,” explained Shiloh. “This stream leads to the ocean.”

But Galilee was too busy splashing and swimming to listen.

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POSTED: Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:41 pm

Part of the cause for their tarrying was the fault of the dark-earth colored puppy. Gaia did not really understand what the fuss was about rushing around everywhere, though she enjoyed playing with Galilee even if the older girl was always running. Of course, Gaia liked to run too, but she really liked to sniff things.

Her nose had long provided a clearer picture of the world than her eyes, which had been slow to develop and remained blue even as she aged. They were considerably lighter than they had been, and now matched objects to the scents and sounds they produced. She could identify things like colors, which was very useful, and knew all the names of the people in her family, which was extra important.

Gaia was, in addition, extremely well versed in all sorts of soil. She had spent much of her time outside digging, sometimes just for fun and sometimes in pursuit of a noise or a smell, and it was one of these which had drawn her off the path of her mother's excursion. The salty smell ahead had finally drawn her back, and she galloped (in the uncoordinated and loose-limbed way of a puppy) after the sunny-colored girl ahead of her. Her charge was accented by leap after leap, and she laughed as water and muck flew up in her wake.

Est-rur-rary! Gaia emphasized with each jump.

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POSTED: Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:45 am

Galilee raced ahead, and Gaia lagged behind, and in between them was the darker pup who kept pace with her mother without truly paying attention to her surroundings. On four awkward, puppy feet she traipsed, her golden eyes seeking the sea that her nose could smell. Serena was a ponderous child, slow to move and think, but no one seemed keen on rushing her. As the waves crashed against the shoreline, she tilted her head and perked her ears and stated, in her quiet and studious way, Oshun.

The ocean was a vast uncertainty that Serena enjoyed watching. The sounds of it were soothing. The sight of it was satisfying. It was a gentle rhythm that she could look at for hours, losing track of time, if her mother let her get away with it.

The estuary that they neared, that Galilee and Gaia splashed in, wasn't quite the same. She kept her head turned towards the ocean, listening and waiting, as if it might encroach on their time near this trickling stream of water that connected to it.

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