Today it’s the turn of Team Gunta. Gunta over at Movin’ On and I have been following each other since I started blogging and living in a fishing community I was naturally drawn to her wild seas pictures & stormy skies with the briefest suggestion of smugglers on the beach. She’s provided me with some great advice and laughs over the past twelve months or so and I loved the pictures she selected for this post but the last one I think is pretty amazing. Let us know what you think!
She’d lived in the small fishing port all her life and had never spent more than a couple of nights away from home when she’d broken her arm as a small child and had to stay at the local hospital. Her father and brother were fishermen as were her uncles, grandfather and their ancestors.Their daily routines revolved around tides and weather forecasts strongly interwoven with old wives tales and superstitions. One of her earliest memories was running down to the harbour to welcome her father and his crew home, when her father would pick her up and swing her onto his shoulders to carry her home. If she closed her eyes she could still smell the sea and engine oil from his old jersey.
Unlike many of her contemporaries she had never yearned for far shores, big cities and bright lights. She was content living in their small cottage with her parents and brother and waking up every morning watching the boats in the harbour from her bedroom window. It was always a good day in their small village when one of the trawlers appeared on the horizon surrounded by swooping gulls and then sailed into the quay to unload their catch. An abundant haul could mean the difference between paying the rent and having to seek work for the winter with a road construction gang.
Her childhood sweetheart, Jan, lived a few cottages behind them and he had skippered his own boat ever since his father was tragically lost at sea. As children they had played kiss chase and the pigtail tweaking had progressed into stolen kisses under the apple tree followed by moonlight walks along the beach as they became older and shared their hopes and dreams under a starlit sky.
She had always known, in the way that women do, that he had a first love that she would never be able to compete with and as her love continued to blossom and soar so did his obsession with his mistress. The intoxicating rush of adrenalin that he felt when he was alone with his lover was addictive and he failed to heed the many warnings. He became reckless in a way that young men could, without giving any thought to the consequences.
It was fate that his mistress had taken him in the end leaving her with just empty promises and broken dreams. She was bitter no doubt about that; he had been dismissive of her heartfelt pleas in the cruellest of ways. They’d never found his body although the broken hull of the trawler had been retrieved from a nearby cove. The storm the night he was taken was one of the worst that their region had seen but he insisted on taking the boat out despite the weather forecast of impending squalls. The magnetic pull of the sea had been irresistible and the desire to fight destiny too seductive.
Of course, that was many years ago now and her parents were long gone along with most of their neighbours and friends. There had been many changes in the village; restaurants and cafes teeming with tourists now line the quay where once the trawling fleet used to line up waiting for their crew to fire up the engines and cast off. Hard to imagine looking at the crowds of visitors that this had once been a thriving fishing community; well, that had been another time. The only remnant of the village’s history remained in the small museum on the quay next to the church where the book of remembrance documented all the lives lost at sea.
She didn’t need any cheap trinket or memento to remind her of Jan; he was always in her heart and there wasn’t a day when she didn’t think about him and what might have been. As she sat on the bench with sunshine warming her face, she smiled secretly to herself. She knew that he was waiting for her as she had waited to join him and it wouldn’t be long now before they were reunited. She’d lived a good life albeit a lonely one but she knew that she could no longer fight this debilitating disease and she was ready now. As she sat there dozing she felt a calloused hand in hers; he’d come for her, just as she knew he would.