I loved her. It was enough. 1749 seemed a difficult time for making a life for one’s self; not to mention a home, and family. The many self owned businesses manufactured gin and as a living was to be made from that. Some people, me included preferred to earn my livelihood as had my father and his father before him. The love of the sea and its profits could make any man feel good about his work, and a modest profit besides. She was not yet with child and my heart knew that try as I might time and fortune would answer that riddle. She was most beautiful and was the answer to my hopes for someone who would share my life dreams and hopes.
She was of a modest height coming to the bottom of my shoulder, her hair was the color of cured straw and her face held tender lips and eyes that were soft as the coming dawn. My mind drew comfort from being her husband. As such I was pleased that she kept house and was willing to quietly urge me to assist in chores that were not normally those of a man. Bear in mind, that this is between we men and are really not of a mind to shout from the rooftops those things our wives are able to encourage us to do. Things like tending the garden, and painting the house and such.
Mind you men folk, keep this to yourself.
She helped me as a fisherman, by aiding me to pull the boat from the beach and down to the water’s edge. I loved the strength I saw in her body, hair flying askew; legs and the beautiful arches of her feet as she strained and sweated along with me to float the tool of our livelihood to sea. I often enjoyed watching her mend the nets and she was more than able to do such work. She is the day to my night. I see her as a life mate for me. My purpose to provide for her was manifest. By my willingness to don a large warm sweater she knitted and row out into the sea where our fortunes awaited, was the greatest gift I felt as a man I could undertake.
Her world was my world. She was very special, almost unique. It is noted that from Eccles on Sea to Waxham she was known for her abilities in healing. I know nothing of those arts, but I am inclined to say that since they do well; they can not be bad. My love for her clouded my reason at times and in this manner I was content. She was demanding only to this extent that we have one day of the week and the odd holiday for our time spent just for the two of us. I could not see the harm as this gave me time to enjoy the forest which we both loved or the beach which we loved with equal measure. We would oft times walk, or picnic and finding a secluded area we loved with a hunger as though our lives were too short. She is beauty personified by the radiance of the sun; she is the pale underside of the leaves which contrast themselves against the gray skies of the incoming North Sea storm. She is the warmth and softness of the gentle spring sun. Her lips hold the moisture of the summer rains and her skin smells like flowers and her touch as kind as the innocent ewe seeking milk from its mother.
I see her as my soul mate. I prayed that one day we would need not work so hard but live as the gentle folk in Surrey. My day at sea was to row out several miles and not return until my barrel was filled with salted fish. I left before sunup and sometimes returned after sundown. Always, she was there with lantern as I departed I could see her as I rowed east or the same as I rowed back upon returning toward the west. I could only refer to her position but she held true and never wavered. Upon one evenings return she wore a strangely colored smock, I deemed it not prudent to ask about it but waited until she wanted to tell me. She was fearful of my reaction but when she explained and seeing the mirth in my eyes I asked her to hug me and she knew shortly that the color caused another sensation within me. She smiled hugged me tighter and we fell into the consummate joy as our bodies answered each others beckons. She described it as an accident while she canned berries, wasting some upon her smock she tried in vain to wash it out. It would not so she decided to use the cloth to wash the kettle. The warm soft color like that of the rose would not come out but resulted is this new color seen only on the great paintings of the castles. We have not a name for it, I imagined berry color. She wears it for me when we retire and it is with great amusement that I enjoy it.
On the day that it occurred I was looking inward and not outward until the force of the gale hit. My nose was focused and remembering smelling my love and not my surroundings. The wind struck my boat with a mighty heave and the waves came up suddenly. I was forced to retrieve my nets and turn towards the west and home. The waves came up higher and the water washed over the gunwale. I paused often to bail out the water and knowing the wind was pushing west it gave me some comfort in rowing. I could not see my love with the lantern and hoping to do so I turned to look for her. I was not able to see the shore but I knew I was going toward them. It was just a matter of time when. My hands were bitter numb from the cold and my mind was seeing images of days of love and my darling’s fathomless eyes. How I longed to be in her arms this moment. How I wished to deeply to feel her fingers in my mouth. I wanted to touch her very spirit with my tongue. While I bailed a wave larger than most tore away one of the boats oars. I screamed in frustration. I could but helplessly sit and bail hoping that the wind would push me in towards shore. Such was not to be as a large wave crashed over the boat and spilled me and all my trade works over and into the sea.
I have never felt such anger as I strove to swim away from the wreck only to find my legs entangled in the net. I felt myself being pulled down down towards where the sea was calmer and she seemed to wait with the lantern. I smiled and she smiled in return and I loved the brightness that enveloped us both. I kissed you and you kissed me in return. I love you so much.
She waited until dawn and with lantern in her numb hands she returned wearily to their cottage. She knew he would return and prepared food for them both. She would constantly check every day until he returned. I came to you every day and I stretched my arm out towards you but I guess you could not see it. I was angry because I realized the stupid net held my arm pinned to my side. You would be proud of me. I held those stupid crabs off for two months before they consumed my flesh. Had it not been for a nosy squid that took a plug of my flesh, then after that it was every body help yourselves. I should have caught more of those and cooked them. I can not see you now, I have but hollow eye sockets; but I know in my heart that you still wait. I love you so much and I will be faithful in paradise until you come join me.
Oh yes, the color of your smock is pink.