The salty spray stung his eyes. The schooner rose and fell with the rolling waves, but Saul no longer felt sickened by it. The crew laughed at him when he told them he had found his “sea legs.” Apparently sailors don’t really talk like that. Who knew? He felt a trifle disappointed that they would probably not shout “Land ho!” when they approached the coast.
The journey neared its end, and he was ready to have steady earth beneath his feet. More than that, he was ready to have his love in his arms. When he sailed away 18 months prior, fortune and fate were his desire, but it took little time away to reveal to him the fortune he left behind. He wrote her often, but received nothing in return. Anxiety plagued his heart. Had she stayed true to him? Would she love him more or less since his departure? He stood facing the bow, willing the wind to carry them hastily homeward.
He had trekked foreign lands in search of treasures. Over sandy dunes and through foggy vales he had gone, always seeking something of worth to claim as his prize. In the course of his time, he learned many skills. Swordplay and sailing were second nature to him now. His time spent with languages transformed them into dear friends. He could field dress a deer, and shoot his bow with more accuracy than most. He knew which herbs could suffice for medicine in a pinch, and which berries would drop a man dead. But he did not know if the woman he loved waited for him still.
In the distance the harbor’s lighthouse gleamed faintly. The sun descended behind them. Before them, home beckoned them on. Soon, the crew busied themselves with preparations to dock, and Saul returned to his cabin below deck to pray that Helen would welcome him back. After a time, he felt the slight jolt of wood against wood, and heard the sea men drop the gangplank and begin to unload. With a deep breath, he returned to the deck with his bags, searching desperately for her familiar features.
There she stood, as beautiful as ever, scouring the small ship for his face. Their eyes met, and Saul scrambled to disembark as she fought through the crowds to reach him sooner. The wooden walkway proved slippery, and he lost his footing near the base, tumbling into Helen’s arms. His weight bowled her over, and they hit the cobblestones together. Disheveled and awkward he looked up and said sheepishly, “I’ve missed you, love. I feared you would not come.”
She responded with a kiss.