The departing of Berta
Greta knew what she had to do.
She felt bad, that she might have to wrestle Berta.
She couldn’t help but feel that Berta with her filthy head, needed a pounding and pummeling.
“She’s no use to you,” Greta thought, “She knicks at you, claws at your arms, and chokes your throat.” “Always clamping on to your thighs,”
Her sister was a cautious girl. Such a cautious girl. And Greta telling her sister that she was running the show now, felt like a sneering mean-spirited shoving.
Greta knew it was her time to take the brightest light – her shoulders and womb were ready.
She would tell Berta to get back and go back to the corner; that her time with the shadows had arrived.
Though they had always swum together, the two of them, Berta had owned Greta’s life more often than not. Greta did not desire to drown Berta, but she had to tell her that she was the one to oversee now. Greta felt a bit untethered though, and was unsure, as she has always deferred to what her sister had to say.
Berta, on the other side of the island, was feeling so very tired. She felt as if she worked, worked, worked every day and all she wanted to do was lay down and rest her weary head. But could she when her sweet Greta might need her? Was Greta capable of full control so she could have a full-time rest? A rest for the ages, for the galaxies. With the trees, dirt, and deer, and most importantly, with the water.
She wasn’t sure.
If she was honest with herself, Berta would be sad to leave. She had grown accustomed to the notion that Greta would be lost without her, even though she knew very well that it was Greta’s turn.
Greta thought that perhaps it would soften the blow if she told Berta that she wouldn’t really be gone. That Berta’s role was just changing, and she could come back if she really needed her. Berta’s opinion wouldn’t be lost and would still move within Greta’s soul. Greta understood that Berta had only always wanted to protect her, but it was time to have her own back. Berta couldn’t be responsible for all the remedies anymore. She looked towards the beach and readied herself.
“I didn’t think you’d come,” Berta said as she saw her sister walking towards her. Berta scanned the trees, looked up at the sun, and the lapping ocean around her, checking for warning signs of danger.
“I wasn’t sure I would,” said Greta.
They looked at each other, wearied, as they had both been through a kind of war that neither one of them had signed up for.
It was for Greta to make the first move. She walked forward and took the hands of her dearest sister and felt the years since their birth pulsating and flashing between them. Images, and feelings, smells, heartbeats, sweat, tears, and joys. Their internal conversation flowed like comets hitting the earth.
“You’re just a bit away – it’s just for a visit now, just a visit, you’re a stone’s throw away”
“I’m so ready now. Am I ready?”
“Yes, you’re ready”
“Okay, I’m going, I’m going now. I’m going but I’m with you I promise, I’m not officially leaving, it’s just for now”
“I’ve got it, I have it, Berta It’s okay, I love you.”
“I love you, Gert”
Berta released their hands and walked down the path. She let her feet touch the rushing water and cried out. She hadn’t felt the smooth wetness in all the long years of her life; only in her dreams had she envisioned it. She felt at the same time an essence of a mother returning to her cubs, or trees accepting rain, or an old bird gliding in the air.
Greta saw the silvery sleek scales begin to shimmer up and down her sister’s body; hair breaking in the wind and whiskers breaking out on her face. A yowl heard by wolves from miles around erupted around her and then she saw nothing but a dot on the horizon miles off in the distance, bouncing off the crests of the waves.
For herself, Berta dove deep into the waters, the sun above her as she floated for a moment, time standing still as the ripples encased her, and one last thought for her sister on the sand. She smiled and exhaled; her water wings gently swishing. She was not alone. She felt the cupping flipper fins of her soul sisters and the nuzzling of their soft furry noses in warm welcome, turning together in a gentle tornado around their kindred.
Greta fell back on the beach and breathed in her sister’s joy. Her sister was cradled and kept. Greta’s journey was just beginning and she pinwheeled her arms and back and forth in the sweet powdery sand as the sun slowly set on her face.