Ten Fathoms Make An Atmosphere

It is twelve miles from my house (which is in the city) to the lake (which most definitely is not). To say it thus makes that distance seem trivial, but, having walked those twelve miles twice a week for the last twenty years, I can say that there is no greater span than that which separates my house and my lake.

I am old, now, before my time.

The mountains between the city and the lake take all the light and the noise and throw it back, sheltering those depthless, immemorial waters. The lake lies in a saddle between three mountains, fed year-round by underground rivers and, in the spring, by snowmelt. It is clear as air, though (apparently) bottomless. Once, accidentally, I dropped my keys into it, and watched them sinking for almost a minute and a half without settling. They were still sinking when I lost sight of them.

My wife went the same way, overboard while we were sailing. They dragged the lake for three weeks, but she, like my keys, is still sinking, forever sinking, forever lost.