Annette Snyckers

The Ancestor  

I have often watched you coming up here where the wind blows by the sea. Here where our traces lie buried on the dune. You are a child of our children’s children removed far down the line of life spinning through time. I have watched you again today – how you came with your husband to look for traces of the ancestors. What drives you to walk so far along the beach and to climb so steeply up the dunes where there is nothing but wind and sand?

I saw you scratching around a long-deserted workshop site where stone splinters still litter the ground. I saw your disappointment when you did not find what you were looking for. Down to the beach you went, dragging your feet in the shallow water as you took the long way back home. I called to you then and I saw your confusion when you told your husband to carry on while you turned back up another dune.

After I had lost the arrowhead so meticulously shaped by my father, I was in a great deal of trouble. Last night’s storm finally blew away the last layers of sand under which it had lain buried for millennia. I could see it now, but my disembodiment did not allow me to retrieve it, to make good to my father. So I called to you and you heard although I could see that you did not understand when you found it perfect, exposed on the side of the dune. I saw fear on your face and fascination as you reached out to pick it up.

I saw you clasping it tightly in your hand as you ran down the dune. I saw fire in your eyes. I saw your husband turn pale when you opened your hand to show him your treasure.

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