Ocean Spell

Moonlight lapped the deserted shore as she slipped the once familiar furs over her cool skin. Her whole body released the tension she had held these past nine years. Her breath slowed as the oceans rhythm flowed once more through her salty veins, and she answered that deep yearning which had pulled her back to the shore, over and over. Her fur yearned to be wet, so she stepped into the inky waves.

In the first dive she undid the ropes which had bound her to the land, wrapping her skins in a dark hiding hole. With the second she released her bitter anger at the man who had trapped her and held her captive, removed from her true nature. He had loved her in his own strange land bound way, and seemed never to notice the deep wounds she suffered. With the third dive she let go of the heart ties to her children, leaving them and their earth-filled blood to their father and his people.

She looked back from the sea towards the stone house they had shared. The bed where he had told her she was beautiful, and where their three children had arrived screaming into the air. After a while their bodies had adapted and she no longer needed to dip them in the well to soothe their gasping breath. Those stone walls had been her prison, and now she had the freedom of the ocean once more.

She swan deeper and further into the restless sea, through towering forests of kelp drifting softly with the shifting current. Moonbeams left dappled patterns in the water and she swam with fierce delight through their shapes. She carried nothing here, there were no endless chores and demands, only the water on her skin and the fire in her tail. Suddenly she paused, remembering her mermaids purse, the only possession she had ever held before her feet were bound to the earth. The memory drew her back to the shore.

It’s tiny soft pouches held the treasures her seal father had given her. It was her ocean luck, and her link with her old nearly forgotten life of freedom. She crept softly over the stones on the shore and held it close to her heart. All was well, all was where it should be. She slipped once more into the salty waves, never looking back. All that she left on earth was a strange marking carved into the stone where she had stood when she transformed back into her Selkie form. You can still see it today if you look closely among the stones on the shore.

Don’t look back at what might have been, rather seize what you have in your grasp today, and make the best use of it you can. And if you find yourself gazing over moonlit waves beware of the oceans call, for the Selkies take earthbound souls beneath the waves just as readily as we have taken them onto the earth.


This was written in response to the Weekly Post Creative Writing Challenge. See more moonlight transformation stories by clicking the link.

About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I share my home on the shores of Loch Ness deep in the Scottish Highlands with my husband, my son and a couple of dogs. I love art which is here now and gone tomorrow...like food and nature...but also have a passion for vintage and the ancient past! Nature is my favourite muse, with her wild ever shifting seasons. I have been using and teaching mindfulness and relaxation for over 12 years, and have yet to become any sort of expert :-) I'm a Psychotherapist and Cancer Support Specialist in Maggies Highlands
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54 Responses to Ocean Spell

  1. Pingback: Ocean Spell -( a beautiful post) | Laetitia Latham Jones

  2. taphian says:

    beautiful photos, exactly my taste

  3. frizztext says:

    “…Donโ€™t look back at what might have been, rather seize what you have in your grasp today, and make the best use of it you can…” – and nice graphic curves’ labyrinth on the stone!

  4. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: The World Through Your Eyes | northumbrian : light

  5. Love the selkie stories! (Big fan of “Roan Inish.”) And thanks for your sweet words of gentle reminder. Honestly, there are days when your blog is like a mini vacation.

    • Melissa that’s such a lovely comment. It makes blogging so worthwhile when I get feedback like this ๐Ÿ™‚
      I love these old transformation tales, and as a child I loved to scramble down over the rocks to a bay where the seals basked. There is something very human about their eyes.

  6. you are a master storyteller.

  7. Beautiful details, Seonaid, in words and images.

  8. Paula says:

    Wonderful imagery ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Lynne Ayers says:

    The first photo hooked me and the tale carried me to the end.

  10. I have seen those soft pouches on the beach and wondered what they were – now I know! I love the photos and found the story very touching.

  11. momasteblog says:

    Oh wow. It is like 95 degrees here where I live today, and that first photo made me feel instantly cool and relaxed! Such beautiful work, and such a wonderful fairy tale too… Thanks.

    • That’s very kind, and I’m delighted to read that my photo managed to cool you a little in what sounds like fierce heat. Glad you enjoyed the fairy tale too ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. janineyork says:

    Well it looks like you are making good use of your time on holiday. I wonder which came first the images inspired the story, or the story inspired the images? Both are amazing either way. It appeals to so many emotions and thoughts. Love it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks Janine , as I walked the things which drew my eye got me thinking about the Selkie tales I had heard as a child. This then got me looking around through that lens for more shots which I could weave into a post. The more shots I took, the closer the words came to the surface of my mind. Then all I had to do was bring it all together ๐Ÿ™‚ so glad you enjoyed it.

  13. You have the double gift….magical writing and the images to finish the storyโ˜บ

    • Too kind ๐Ÿ™‚
      The words and the images weave together in my mind, inseparable. But there’s lots of room for growth and improvement in my image making….getting it from my head onto the screen, as I visioned it….now that’s the challenge ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Suzanne says:

    Captivating. The pictures fit with the story perfectly and the story is completely enthralling. I love the way you ended it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. colonialist says:

    Wonderful story! It can be taken at a number of levels. Perception of relative importance is just one of them.
    I find it strange to notice how many are writing in directions my current tale is taking me – or perhaps I notice them particularly because of that?

    • Is your tale about to dip beneath the ocean waves?
      I’m so glad you commented on the different layers in this story…I love that in a tale myself, so always try to write them in ๐Ÿ™‚ usually in threes!

  16. A nicely woven selkie story – have you read David Thomson’s The People of the Sea? BTW we were in Plockton today – saw many Mackenzie references including 2 portraits at the art exhibition in the village hall.

    • Thank you, and yes it’s a beautifully written book.
      I wish I had known you were in the village today….we headed off to Skye, to the North East tip, where we climbed the Quiraing followed by the Old Man of Stoor. Feeling it in my legs already!
      Plockton is definitely MacKenzie family territory….I seem to be related in some way to half the village ๐Ÿ™‚ If you were in the Hall perhaps you saw the huge oil painting at the back of the Art Exhibition space? It used to hang in my Granny’s house and she and her two sisters are shown seated on the floor at the front of the house ceilidh which is depicted. I love that painting….it brings back so many happy memories ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I missed the painting which is a shame – perhaps you could do a post some time if you have have a photo of it – I think I was too distracted by the charcoal (?) portraits (and the free sweets :-)). Now back home – the five days passed too quickly.

  17. Mike Howe says:

    Wonderful and beautiful, well done ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks very much Mike, glad you enjoyed it so much. When I’m writing I often worry about being a little too carried away with my slightly strange thoughts…..so feedback like this is always very reassuring ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Colline says:

    Beautiful story and pictures.

  19. Amy says:

    Thanks for the inspiring writing and photos are gorgeous!

  20. wisejourney says:

    glorious in every way

  21. theinnerzone says:

    I cannot decide if your writing is more beautiful or the pictures :). Either way, I feel rejuvenated to the nth degree (n = yet to be determined).

    • Wonderful, just what I hoped for as I composed the post ๐Ÿ™‚
      Let me know what n= when you decide!
      I find it impossible to separate words and images, one produces the other in my mind….so happy to hear you enjoy the combination.

  22. ginnietom says:

    fantastic images, specially blue colored mussels and ropes…a dream…:-))

  23. adinparadise says:

    Wonderful writing. I was spellbound to the last word.

  24. Zen Doe says:

    Gorgeous photos!!! Wow!

  25. ladyfi says:

    Wonderful storytelling and beautiful photos!

  26. Hanna says:

    Stunning pictures they are beautiful and inspiring.

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