Water-skimmers skate over the coppergreen surface easily, quickening the life that goes on under their feet. An old man walks around his potato field in the cinnamon dusk the same way, casting his body’s light into the hidden tubers. In front of me one of the water-skimmers emerges from the shade of a fungus-ridden log half on the bank, half fallen in the slimy water. A fish pushes the water open, emerging into the air world like a torpedo and slips the skimmer into itself too fast for me to see what kind of fish it is. The activity is quick yet prayerful, fraught with a mystery that keeps monks awake beside their cots at midnight. As I retrace my steps through the dapple-camouflaged wood back to the cafeteria, I sense, with a skimmer’s agile languor, how the small stones in the earth swirl in my wake in the drowsy afternoon dazzle.