When a child, Carrie spoke quietly to the others, though they knew this it seemed right, Esme(e) had taken out a skiff upon the lake and lived there on its island long enough for the house to miss her presence. She had plunged, learning with hands, skin, mouth, eyes and heart the formation and ways of all of it and so its nature from its changes and its visitors forest birds and water birds, the small animals and the larger deer and bear, owls, the foxes of winter, the insects of spring, the fullness of summer.
        Esme(e) had learned and held inherent within the sight and ensuing wonder requisite to open the lake into herself and for it, too, that blessing, the lake refreshing itself which none before had known to do yet Esme(e) performed the rites a subtle flourish, a fervid gaze, and transformed all, shore, water, island, trees, sky, seasons into the continuous symphony of adventuring.

        The lake became anywhere, its eges the gateway, its depths and reaches the shimmerings of guessed time, and none in the house knew, and none there saw or understood that they had lost her, Esme(e), once their Esme(e), but she had gone away from them into dusty mellow deserts, to high peaks blazing in crystal dawns, entered dim and ancient forests whose roots entangled their spreading canopies and where trails were in the sky and worlds were in the sky and tunnels passed through seas shaken with tempest and giant creatures, where were armies, promises of fleet steeds upon the plains, secrets in the eyes of ruddy gazelles, all of this, more, more, and Esme(e) had gone away from them by the lake.
        She may have always been so and never theirs for the lake was speculum as well as mirror but it was not the magical spring of rejuvenation.
        Yet perhaps it was.