Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Wall

The grey ocean wall had stood the test of centuries; the moss mute testament to the years it had stood true and valiant against all storms. Its stony facade hid the truth; the only caresses those stony shoulders had ever felt through the long years were of the waves as they broke over its foundations. Neither wind nor storm should be feared, for the wall stood alone, against the elements.

Parents sat their offspring on his stony head and laughed as they watched the waters recede against his stony countenance.  The blocks that had come together over the years to form the wall had not come from the same source. Some were true, whilst others were broken against the stonemason’s adze. Some were created as the artist mixed mortar and made them fit.

But the wall remained solid; he had to protect the village when the north ocean tore into him with the power of a berserker. Ants and small crabs crawled into the breaks and nestled among his strength and his weaknesses, never caring about the small faults, for without them, they would have no sanctuary. Generations had survived on the wall and no power had ever touched his soul.

On a grey day in March when the ocean had come again and he felt the first rumbling of the stones; the tearing of the ocean as it retrieved its prize, he felt the first stirrings of isolation. Tears were washed into the ocean and suddenly the wall screamed into the ether.

‘Why must I be on my own, why am I ignored, is it because I am a wall?’

 Now mossy with age he recalled the answer to his question. As the engineers stood above him with machines to tear ‘the old guy down’, he heard the voice again.

The child had screamed, ‘Look at that wave, it keeps coming, will our wall stop it?’ The children fled not from panic but because they had never seen such a wave. The wall looked up from his despair and saw her. He had never seen anything more beautiful, nor more powerful. He then knew that his time had come. As the last filaments of the water receded, the wave stopped, curled and caressed the wall.

As the machines tore into his foundations, he was content, he had found peace.

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