While walking the dog this morning, I smelled the ocean.*
I thought, “I wonder if I’ve been having mermaid dreams again…
…or if I’m a mermaid having human dreams?”
As I walked with Vinny, I wondered about the paucity of mermaids as opposed to the plethora of humans. Then, because I live with a scientist (a biologist, among other disciplines) I began to wonder about population ebb and flow, breeding cycles and hibernation…and if that is the reason we don’t see mermaids anymore.
In the era of sailing ships and long voyages at sea, sailors used to see mermaids – if not regularly, at least enough for the legends to persist. Manatees, dolphins, whales, in uneducated and possibly scurvy-ridden, hallucinating minds, yes, I know the theories, but what if?
What if the beings of legend and story are real? What if, as we evolve and progress, the legends sleep? Humanity develops and regresses in cycles. Perhaps, as we become more enlightened and science clarifies the world, we need our myths and legends less, then, as the mysteries unravel, we need them ever more.
Or maybe they need a rest from us. Humanity is demanding, after all. Maybe they need those long years of sleep to recover from our needs, our desires, our expectations.
Perhaps they’re all asleep, deep beneath the waves, or in caves, or ancient, crumbling castles. Sleeping, and dreaming of us, so that we dream of them. And when we’re aware again, when we start writing and dancing and dreaming again of all the “myths” that are gone, perhaps then they’ll wake up and the world will be refilled with wonder and magic.
So, listen for a song on the wind, or the soft footstep behind you in the dark. Watch the phases of the moon, and look for wild-eyed girls in the hurricane waves. They may be out there. We just have to wait for them to wake up.
*No, we don’t live anywhere near the sea. We live near a park with a pond, but it’s not saltwater.