You stand on the white strand by your love, not noticing the spray soaking your cloak, the foam lapping your feet, the call of your companions, the cry of your hounds. You do not notice the gull wheeling white above you, the high proud heads of the cliffs.
For there is nothing but the hidden sun on her hair. her white feet, high-arched. Her eyes first gray, then green, catching all the sea-colors in them, the gift of her father and mother, the wavewalkers of the boundary. Her pale hand reaches out, its fingers rose-tipped.
Your companions grab you back, grab your shoulder with their spear-roughened hands. They know who she is, and whisper her name, her line. You catch nothing of it. Her name, to you, is the cry of the wheeling gull, the roar of the sea, the timbrel of your heart beating. Her line is the smooth line of her hand reaching to you.
In the moment you take it, you know what is to be. You know: the three hundred years of joy, slowly edging to grief as the sun does toward its setting. The horse with its silver bridle, and the stumble that costs you it all. Grave mounds gone green, and the old, old man, crumbling to dust on the loam.
But her hand is warm and she smiles, light dancing on wavelets. The calls and cries fade behind you.
You know what is to be, and you melt in its embrace.