At the turn of the year (a few years ago) I stood on a boat on a loch in the north of Scotland. The fog hung low over the water; it had frozen crystal on the branches and the leaves. It was barely mid-afternoon and yet it was already turning to dusk, turning the trees that came down to the water’s edge into dark shadows. A castle looked out over the loch. It was the kind of afternoon to make its ghosts wander the deserted grounds. The water, thick and dark with peat, reflected the silver sky as though it was itself made of mercury. One could believe the stories of creatures living deep beneath the surface, staring up at the world from the other side of a mirror. I had never seen anything like it. I would visit this loch again three more times over the years, but never again did I see the waters of Loch Ness move like liquid silver in the twilight.
(And to think, my camera had run out of battery earlier in the day. My mother let me use hers, which had, inexplicably, refused to focus. All of the photos I took are as blurry as I see the world without my glasses. The only photo from that afternoon that came out clear is this one, and it best captured the experience we had on the loch.)
Photo: Loch Ness in Scotland.