Some say by happenstance, others by fate, the ocean met the forest. These two vast beings as different as could be. The ocean in its turgid upswells, its vast coldness and blue, unplundered depths of darkness. Unknown creatures abide within its blackened realm. Alien to those of us who barely skim the surface. Alien to those of us who are too afraid to try. It is an intimidating place. Ever changing, pulsing, breathing, swelling. It plunges headlong in to the sand, unabashed of who it is or what it does… or why it does it. The sea is. That is all.
Its fingers once reached the soil of an unbidden forest. The taste of which is green and earth. The forest, you know, is filled with timid secrets, fluttering wings, and sense of yearning. It is forever reaching in two opposite directions, down and up, rooted yet grasping, constantly filtering and ever growing. Where the ocean is unapologetic, the forest is nurturing. Where the ocean is open and free, the forest is sheltered and shadowed.
The forest, unused to the salty flavor of such an interminable being closes in upon itself. For salt is unknown to such a world. She, this forest, us unable to filter what he, this ocean, has thrust upon her roots. And suddenly, the forest is flooded with need. To what does she owe the honor of being touched by such a force?
The ocean seems complacent. But in those depths of darkness, he realizes that this is a sweetness untasted, unfettered, unknown to his strong world. He hopes to impress the forest. He hopes to help her understand that the world is full of dangerous entities and unchartered territory. He is infuriated the forest is bound to the earth. He will pound the earth harder, he decides. He will do what he can to abate the forests need to hold on. But he must not tell her. She must not know.
The forest cannot quell her thirst for the openness of the water. But she realizes that the secrets she holds so deeply must remain within the protective shadows her branches have provided. Although the woodland creatures sense her distress and duress, they will hold firm. For she holds them gingerly and protects them from their fears.
The wind is billowing with the torment of possibility. The wind will decided on his or her ability.
The wind and its invisible wings perchanced a meeting of the two worlds. The ocean poured over its sandy banks, past the grass, past the protective barrier of the forests initial rooted system, headlong into the damp darkness of her secret world. And there, salt infused jade. Trees were overturned, flowers overwhelmed and claimed by the azure flood, secrets long held were quenched in a strength the forest had never knew existed. With a great exhale, she, for the first time in the greatest of eons, felt one single feeling. Instead of the dichotomy of holding and reaching in unison, she felt only the extension of herself. Her breath, her leaves, her hidden flight, all spread toward the sun. She liberated the long-held sorrows of the past. And in a great flash, she felt as whole as she ever could be. The forest was, for the most fleeting of moments, unabashed of her shortcomings, her intricate webs, and her tangled and gnarled branches.
The ocean left no surface unturned. He tasted, he clenched, he overcame. He showed the forest the power within his dark world… in his unapologetic spread, he realized he’d found an equal. As he tasted the secrets of a world unknown to him, a sudden relentless stab of unconsciousness surrounded him from all sides. Apprehension rose within him. The very secret core of his very secret being demanded he return to his place within the world. He knew this brief encounter could not last forever. The demands of his inner self were too overwhelming. He would have to recede back to his domain regardless of the secrets he’d uncovered. He held fast to his torment. It was not within him to give anything more to this green world. It was not within him to swell and abate at will. The tide had other plans. The sand held him fast. And he abhorred his encasement.
Suddenly, the ocean withdrew. The forest recoiled in a gasp and returned her roots to their firm hold within the only world she knew. She was closing in upon herself to protect her secrets and her darkness. She knew she would never fully recover. She knew she would never be the same. The briny taste of magnificence would linger within her soul forever. It would force her to adapt. It would force her to evolve. But that too, she would hold secret, in the ways that only she knew how. She would shelter her own longing and torment within herself. She would hide it from the ocean and the earth. From the sun and the moon. From the birds and the butterflies.
The ocean, caught in his own storm, would not be quelled. Not by the wind in all its efforts, not by the moon in all her risings and tides, not by the ocean’s very own depths. He refused to be anything he wasn’t. He would not apologize and he would not search. He would rage. He would agonize. He would churn.
All the while, the forest watched, helpless to reach out to a world so vast in its untouchable greatness. All she could do was stand and wait. All she could do was what she knew: hold firm and reach out to a world that was enigmatic in its very presence. She sent him a promise on the wind’s wings. It resonates from her truest essence, and rang out from the flowers of her heart. Perhaps the ocean will gather it in his own time.