three dots …

At Mersey River, at a winter retreat, after Compline

Two nights ago, after singing Compline across the lake, after everyone else had dispersed, drifted back either to the dining hall or to their own cabins: Nick Halley and I standing on the edge of the frozen lake, looking out and marveling, and resting alert and in awe, in the company of the wind and of the snow and of the trees and of each other. The clouds were moving swiftly across the sky—indistinct in the darkness, but as they passed within a certain radius of the moon their outlines were illuminated. The moon’s light ebbed and grew stronger as clouds came and went in front of it.

The river is marvellous: louder than the wind, unceasing roaring, a joyous clamour surging from the heart of the Kejimkujik forest. ‘Eternal praise, eternal praise!’—singing with all its might …