After a frenetic week, it is wonderful to lie back in my hammock and inhale the peace of White Owl Island.
Even when you know it is going to happen, moving house is a chaotic business, but it is worth it – our new home is on a hill overlooking the river and the countryside around our village. We are in the `French quarter’ where all the streets have French names, and it is incredibly peaceful and pretty, the air is so clear you can taste it like fresh spring water and on most days, no matter how hot, we get a breeze.
I have started work on the garden – it has been somewhat neglected but the `bones’ are good. But the business of packing and unpacking and running back and forth between the old residence and the new has been exhausting, and every time I get home the piles of unpacked possessions reproach me.
So I have slipped away to the peace of White Owl Island, with a long cool drink and my hammock overlooking the bay where seals play. I have a small feathery white companion – a beautiful white owl called Yenna, who has befriended me and has been telling me stories of the silkies – she assures me that these are no ordinary seals, but the silkies that leave their skins behind on moonlit nights and dance on the sands.
I grew up with these legends in Ireland, but never was fortunate enough to see the silkies out of their seal skins. Yenna tells me that if I stay here tonight, I will see them, because there is a full moon in Pisces.
“That’s a celebration time for them,” Yenna hoots softly. “Pisces is the sign of the sea, ruled by Neptune, and tonight there will be music and wild dancing on the sands.”
I roll over in my hammock, and sip my cold drink. I know I have so much to do at home – but Yenna’s invitation to stay and watch the silkies with her is irresistable.
Will I really see them at last, those mysterious creatures that filled my childhood dreams? As if in answer to my question, there comes a strange music born on the breeze, a sweet but melancholy piping…
“The piper comes already,” Yenna whispered. “He is calling all the silkies to dance on the shore.”
My mind made up, I lie back in my hammock and breathe a contented sigh.