“Oak on the Riverbank,” Isaac Levitan,” 1887, WikiArt.

Part 3: Sea-Steering Steadying Hands

“What bothers you so?” Hremsa asked of me,
Willow, Scottish mainland marooned, lost to
Family, Hebridean Isles.” “Island is dying,”
I replied, “Two  years, peat exhausted.” Thus,
I explained, sheep sold, croft and cottage
Abandoned. We had seen, heard of the end
Before, isolated islands, no living made.
“Life-destinies are a river,” Hremsa began.
“Sea-flowing, two parallel winding banks,
Reflections of sky, cloud.

“Do you believe, Jannet is truth telling?”
I asked, Hremsa’s grey-eyes, two founts of
Ancient magic, island fates revealed, my
Heart-soul strengthened, inspired. “Your
Island will continue, Willow, undiscovered
Peat, changes ten, twenty years hence, life
Blossoms, thrives, winter withers, yearns
Another season, chance to sprout, grow.”
Then learnt, Jannet despised not island
Life, shadowed mystery charted her seas.

O! Dreams of youth, marriage, motherhood,
Rigors of island living drove unsuspecting
To madness, hurting those most vulnerable,
Often wife and child. “What now?” I asked of
Hremsa, patient, timeless wisdom residing
At this Norse-named sea-village. “Two ocean
Passages you will make, Willow, cresting
Waves, other, mind-reckoning, both deep-
Fathomed, foaming, sea-might self-aware.
Prepare, child, tomorrow, we take sail.”

“Boat with Two Figures,” Odilon Redon, 1902, WikiArt.

Of island-escaped Jannet, young Kamden,
I daren’t not ask, steam passage seeking to
Distant, foreboding lands: Nova Scotia, far-
Northern Newfoundland. For Hremsa and
Myself, double-bow trawl dory Tarskavaig
Beach-awaited, stout mast, wind-stretched
Sails. Would we to nearby islands venture,
Life compared to Outer Hebrides? I feared
Open-ocean voyage, beyond sight of land,
Sea-steering steadying hands.

Thanks for reading.

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