Friday, April 19, 2013

The Widow's Walk

The widow's walk, a railed rooftop platform upon which it is said the wives of mariners would watch and await their husband's return from the sea, often in vain.

This particular rooftop rail, in Saratoga, overlooks the Hudson River but does remind me of a terrifying tale I'd heard as a child about the Greek son Theseus, who had set sail to do battle with The Minotaur. Before Theseus got on the boat with the black sail, his father, King Aegeus, told the son when he returned to change the sail to white, so the father would know he had returned alive.

Theseus did eventually return alive, but had forgotten to change the sail. His father, when seeing the black flag flying atop the ship in the distance, assumed his son had been killed and plunged into the water, drowning himself.

What bedtime stories were you read when you were a child?

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