The Dancers

Two dancers engaged in a fiercely romantic dance, full of fire and lust. They would come together from head to toe for only the briefest of moments before spinning away again. Sometimes, they were upright and facing their partner. In other moments, they lay on the ground, facing apart. They leaped and twirled and stood still. Never did they break their hold on one another, always maintaining contact between them with some part of their bodies, even if only keeping their fingertips locked with their partner’s. Often did they whirl away with such speed that it seemed impossible for them to maintain contact but there was always some part of them touching.

They danced for a day and a night and another day. They tired, their muscles burned with fatigue but they could not stop as they had too much left to say. The Grass beneath them delighted in their every step. The River that ran nearby mimicked their movements in its own ebb and flow, such was the ferocity of their dance. But the Wind grew jealous of them, for their beauty and elegance was visible for all to see whilst its own was invisible. People knew only of what the wind did, not how majestic it was in its own right.

At the end of the second day, as the Sun set and the light waned, the dancers’ bodies parted once more. This time, however, their tiredness overcame them. As they slid their hands along one another’s arms, each missed the other’s hand and their hold was broken. One dancer began to fall as the the other pounced forward to reclaim their hold. Seeing its chance, the Wind changed. The dancers, reaching for each other from their toes to their fingertips, were frozen.
They remained like that for many seasons, unable to break the Wind’s spell. People came from all over to see the mysterious couple. Some tried to help them by moving them closer so that they may touch and break free of the Wind’s envy. None succeeded in this for the Wind held them too tightly.

Eventually, the Earth took pity on them. First it implored the Grass to grow tall around them, obscuring them from sight and hiding their transformation from the Wind. For many years they were kept alive by water from the River and warmth from the Sun. Over time, they were encased in bark and small twigs began to emerge from their arboreal tombs. The twigs grew into long, stout branches. The Wind soon discovered the Earth’s plan and began to blow in such a way as to force the dancers’ new limbs to grow away from each other, keeping them apart, still. Even the leaves on the branches were carried away by strong gusts if they grow too close to those of the opposite tree.

Beneath the surface, though, the Wind could influence nothing. Beneath the Grass that so delighted in the to-and-fro of the dance, beneath the Soil that held them up and gave their steps a comforting platform, the Earth, to this day, gives the dancers what they sought all along. Where the Wind’s jealousy cannot touch them, their roots, the pattern of their growth forever changing, grow together, touching along every inch.

ImagePhotograph by the author, taken at Otterspool Promenade, Merseyside.

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