I’m thinking about the Wee Folk today. My Irish roots tend to take over in March and make me dream in shades of green; of Little People guarding pots of gold at the end of the rainbow, and of silkies basking in a Spring sun so warm it makes them shed their skins. Do you know the legend of the silkie? “Superstition!” most would say. “Tall tales told at bedtime to help small children get to sleep!” Well, I like a tall tale as well as the next person, and there is something about the silkie’s story that intrigues me.
Imagine for a minute… a sable-colored seal slides out of the sea to lie among the rocks. As you watch, you are astounded to see her slip out of her skin, revealing a beautiful maiden, long, dark, hair gleaming in the sun. It is said among the sea folk that a man who captures the skin of a silkie, captures her heart, as well. But, the sea does not leave her. A man may take a silkie for his wife, but no matter the bonds of love betweenthem, no matter the love she may have for their children, should she find her skin, she is gone in the blink of an eye, back to her first love – the sea.
What fascinates me about this tale is the memory of the silkie. Though she has everything she needs to be content – husband and children and hearth and home – the silkie never forgets where she came from. She never ceases searching for her lost skin, and is always turning her sad eyes to the sea, longing to return to her true home under the waves.
I understand that longing, that sense of something missing, the ceaseless searching for that home buried deep within the memory. Like the silkie, I have everything I need to be content, and, most days, I am. Yet, there are days, like today, when the sun beams on me so warmly that I want to run down to the sea and shed this skinbag in which I live! My eyes search the heavens, and I long for my true home above the clouds. One day, I, too, will be gone in the blink of an eye to live with God – my first love. So, for me, the tale of the silkie isn’t so tall after all! Because, like my sainted grandmother used to say, if you look for it, you can find a bit o’ truth in almost everything!
May your Spring be green! Pastor Barb <><
For in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven.
2 Corinthians 5:2