She felt the waves; up close, with her feet and legs and body first before hearing their suffix lap at the side of the boat. They came through her, not towards her.
Some days they were fearsome; aggressive; jarring. They shoved and intimidated. On days when the sky blackened and they were given full reign, they became hell-bent. Their white-capped eyes shined with murder, no pretense; those were the times she was as scared as she had ever been. Surely they would capsize her little craft and drag her down with them into the depths. Those nights were eternal. She strained against her oars, eventually giving up trying to anticipate the waves’ blows and simply gripping to any solidity she could. Tossed against the sides, thrown to the pooled bottom, almost lost over the rails sometimes.
Some indeterminate amount of time later, her eyes would always blink open and she’d hear quiet – the roar would have ceased. Sometimes the sun was shining; blazing even. Sometimes the moon gazed down pensively. Her boat would rock consolingly, gently. The water below would clear its throat, quiet, repentant, its sheen like sincere eyes making a clumsy apology. They would sit together in those moments, her heart softened, her weary body sagged against the gunnels. They would try to understand each other then.
And some days were easy. Beautiful. They worked in perfect rhythm. A few words spoken and understood, but much more communicated by feel and anticipation and revelation. Those were the days she lived for. The waves made sense to her. She thought maybe they’d be able to stay this way this time, her boat soaring over the water’s surface until forever met its end; the waves below laughing, shouting, frolicking in all their innocent, boyish, fabled glory.
But storms always came again.