THE evening air was heavy as the raven-haired figure walked across the beach. Salty wind stirred her thick, curly hair out of its coiled braid and she paused her progress to rake it back into place. Breathing in the cooling, briny zephyr of evening Colchis, the lady watched the waves before wading into the surf. She had long abandoned her outer-tunic and felt a slight chill in the water. Her long white under-tunic billowed around her as she made it further into the sea. Daylight was fading fast and the woman hastened her sloshing steps until it was deep enough to swim.
Dark waves threatened to push her back to the beach. Relentless, she continued until she was at the unreachable North end of the crescent-shaped shore. The soft sands of the beach gave way to rocky alcoves, accessible only by the sea. Spitting out sea water, she clambered into one of the alcoves-hidden from view of the land. The rock was well-worn and slippery but at last she sat facing the Black Sea.
Tangerine and crimson hues girded the clouds as the sun set to the West. Softly sighing, the woman leaned against the lithic wall of the alcove. She studied the scene. Usually, the waters were just calm enough to reflect the dying sun. A mirror of heart-breaking beauty. Instead, the choppy waves only hinted at the fiery display of the copper sky. The next few minutes became progressively colder and colder until the lady could no longer stand the stinging sea foam that crashed against the rocks. Lingering, as if to hold the sun still for just a moment longer, she made her way back into the sea. And, if for a moment, it seemed the sun held her gaze and obeyed.
While swimming towards the beach, the waves became incessant and almost cruel. They pulled at her hair and choked her with salt water. The lady wondered if a storm was approaching. At the thought, she swam faster.
By the time she was ashore, bright stars had begun to appear in the blackening sky. They gleamed, coldly watching the world. Looking up, the woman’s large black eyes glittered back. A challenge. A reminder to the heavens that while the gods observed from their empyrean thrones and played with the lives of mortals, the same golden ichor flowed through her own veins. Turning her back on the sky, Princess Medea walked towards the glowing city of Dioscurias.
But somewhere in that sky, while the gods were watching an advancing ship, one goddess took notice of the challenge. Silently, she whispered a promise to the retreating figure and blew the winds of the Black Sea towards the beaches of Dioscurias. In the distance, sailors lurched as a sudden gale hit the white sails of their boat.
The Argo was on its way to Colchis.