Ally opened her eyes. The sun shone warm on her skin, the sand beneath her was her cradle. She lay very still, listening to the sound of the waves caressing the sand. The night had passed and the sky was once again a clear, brilliant jewel of blue above her. She closed her eyes and breathed in the lovely briny air. She didn’t know if she could get up. She hadn’t tried yet, but she had her doubts. How could she have any strength left after the dark night she just had.
But Ally did try to move and found that the star glimmer was still inside her. She sat up and looked around her beach. Debris and drift wood was scattered across the golden sand. It had been a terrible storm. Nothing had been spared, everything was ragged and the poorer for the storm. Ally crossed her legs where she sat and looked out over the ocean. Sunlight danced on the gentle peaks and dips in the vast blue. The water was the only place that didn’t seem worse for wear.
Ally was unsure of what to do now. Suddenly the water that she had grown up in, the water that had been full of life and adventure and joy, was now mysterious and foreign. How could she venture back there, how could she ever go out in the deep again? Sadness flooded Ally’s heart as tears began to fall. She felt lost again, but this time she was lost in the only place she had ever known to be her home.
Love lost, home lost, Ally wandered the shore dragging her feet in the powdery sand, lines and dashes left behind her. She tried to build a castle but the towers wouldn’t set right and she couldn’t see the point anyway. No one ever showed up to play, which wasn’t too much of a surprise, they weren’t children anymore, after-all. Her heart heavy, Ally thought about the happy times she had with Wild, the adventures they went on together, the mountains they climbed, the clear mountain pools they drank from and swam in, the love they made under the stars. He had opened her up to a whole new world she had never known existed, but no matter how exquisite his mountains were, she always missed her beach.
Hopelessness closed in around Ally’s heart, making it hard to breathe. She missed him terribly. Between her love sick heart and the pleasure of swimming in the ocean being lost she didn’t know what to do. She stood on the shore, facing the great expanse of blue and gripped her hands into fists. She longed to hear the Voice of the Waters again, desire welled up in her till she ached, but she was afraid to get back in the water.
Night had fallen and a silvery shower of stars was putting on a show, streaking the sky with it’s beautiful display. As she watched the stars fall she felt the silver glimmer in her own chest, the star light in her recognizing the lights in the sky. The glimmer inside her flooded her with the desire to fly, herself, free of the loneliness of her beach. If only she could take to the sky. It was agonizing, the ache in her chest. She suddenly knew what she had to do.
Stripping off her outer garment, she ran toward the water with all her might when out of the corner of her eye she saw the figure of a man standing by the water. He wasn’t looking at her, she didn’t know if he even knew she was there. She felt a new sensation begin to swirl up from her stomach and begin to spread over her like the sun on a warm summer day. She stood motionless watching him, silver light illuminating the sand. The stars were singing. She could faintly hear their soaring song while the silver song inside her begin to rise up from her belly.
The stars were putting on their display for him, she could feel it, and then she was next to him although she didn’t remember moving. He had an incandescent, silver cloak in his hands, and wrapped it around her shoulders, the soft folds whispering over her skin. She gazed into the sky, the star song reaching a fervent pitch, the song cascading over and through them, filling her with a hope and a deep satisfied joy that she had never known. Her blood ran hotter in her veins and strength rose up from her feet to the top of her head. And just when she felt she would explode into a million shards of glorious light, the song was done and the silver light in the sky dimmed till it was just a soft reflection on the sand. They stood motionless next to one another still staring into the sky that had resumed it’s normal display.
Ally didn’t know how long they stood that way, she would have been happy to stand there forever and not move from his side. She didn’t want to break the beauty of the moment, but suddenly she was filled with questions. He looked at her and smiled.
“Ask me,” he said. “It’s alright.” Ally blushed with pleasure at the sound of his voice, feeling sure that she had heard it before.
“Well, Sir… if it’s alright, I would like to know why it hurts so much to love.” She gazed up into his kind eyes and had to look away feeling suddenly very small. He lifted her chin and when she saw his kind smile, she took a deep breath and continued. “It’s just that there have been so many people to love, but they never stay.” Salty tears sprang to her eyes. “And I’ve lost him. I lost my love and I don’t know where he is.”
“Are you in pain?”
“Yes,” she breathed. “Can you help me find him?”
The man’s eyes filled with such Love that for a moment the pain in Ally’s chest lifted and she felt her whole body relax. The man took her hand and walked with her to the edge of the water till their feet were under the blue. The man began to speak.
“Long ago there was a Terrible Fall and a Great Sadness covered the land. The sadness was so great because people found that where they once could feel one another’s hearts and hear one another’s thoughts, suddenly they found they were unable to hear one another. They felt afraid and alone for the first time. They had to use language to understand one another, and although they each spoke the same words, the words had different meanings. Since they couldn’t feel one another’s hearts to understand the language they became unhappy and angry with one another. It was a very dark time.” The man continued.
“My Father saw that the people were afraid and felt alone even when they were together, so he took the star song and put it in the people. The stars sing together and can hear one another from inside, so they always know the song the other stars are singing. It’s the same song my Father sings over everything he made.” Ally looked up at the man, her eyes wide.
“I saw the stars,” she said, “when I was in the deep water. Was that your Father that put the star song in me? Was that his voice? Did he save me from the rip tide?”
“Yes, Ally. That is why you can see me now. I’ve been with you on your beach all your life, but my Father gave you the star glimmer and now you can see me as well as hear my Voice.”
Ally thought about what the man said for a while. All her life she had felt alone and was frustrated when she and Wild were together in the land between the mountains and the ocean, for she ached for her beach and the deep salt water. Although she loved Wild, she had sadness hidden inside. She looked up at the stars and felt the glimmer, and she heard the stars singing.
“Can Wild have the star song, too?” She asked suddenly.
“Yes, Ally, my Father gave Wild the star song. You only have to listen to hear it.
Ally closed her eyes and listened intently. All she could hear at first was the song in her own chest, but the longer she stood quietly, listening, she was able to hear a faint song in the distance. The melody was intricate and sweet. It was beautiful. She felt a light tug on the silk string of her heart and she turned and looked behind her.
Wild was standing on the edge of the sand where it met the tall, green grass, a smile beaming on his face. Ally ran across the beach to where he was on the grass, and they wrapped one another up in an embrace. She looked up at him, tears streaming down her face.
“You’re here! I can’t believe it, you’re here!” She touched his face and shoulders and he leaned down and brushed her lips gently with his.
“I never left,” Wild said in a husky voice. “You just couldn’t see me, and you couldn’t hear me calling to you. I didn’t know how to reach you, so I’ve been here waiting. I was so afraid when I saw you drowning in the water and I couldn’t save you.” Wild gripped Ally’s hands.
“It was the star song! Can you hear it? It’s beautiful, Wild, it’s the most beautiful thing I ever heard! Listen.”
So Ally and Wild stood there face to face and listened. The glimmer became a glow, and grew steadily into a brilliant light that radiated out past them. They were lost and found all at the same time. The songs in their hearts, while different melodies, were in perfect harmony telling a story so familiar, but new and thrilling. The salty and fresh waters flowed in their veins as one.
Ally listened even deeper to Wild’s song. She closed her eyes and as his melody wove in and out of her heart, she saw majestic, snow covered mountains, trees that were always green, and clear laughing, fresh water bubbling in rocky river beds. Her eyes flew open amazed to discover that she could not only hear, but see his heart song like she could hear and see her own beach. After all the time Ally had known him, she could truly feel and see Wild.
When the song had finished they looked at one another and she suddenly remembered the man on the beach.
“Did you see him, Wild? Did you see the man that was with me?”
“Yes,” Wild said with a grin. “He’s the keeper of the stars. He came and found me when I lost you. He brought me here and told me the story of the star song and breathed the song into me, and when I saw you there on the beach, he told me not to be afraid. And here you are.”
“Here I am.” she smiled radiantly. She had no idea that she was glowing.
Ally and Wild found a new land to build a new cottage, had children and lived to be very old. Ally no longer ached for the ocean, because she found that she carried it inside, and any time she felt alone she only had to get quiet and listen, and the star song sang to her of hope and love and comfort. And so it was until the end of her days.