Soft, rhythmic sobs fill the small room. “Years. It’s been years with no answer. I don’t know how much more I can stand: the looks, the whispers, and the laughter behind my back.” Mariah wipes her eyes and watches the moonlight skip across the lake outside her window. Fighting the tears she rolls onto her back and stares up into the dark. Mariah finishes her prayer with all the earnestness she can, and then lays there in silent thought.
After a few minutes Mariah turns to the window and thinks of her husband out on the lake, gliding through the darkness. The moonlight has drawn a distinct line across the horizon, dividing earth and sky. As she watches she wonders what it would be like if her prayer was answered! Mariah’s imagination dances with the images that fill her heart, until she settles into the gentle embrace of sleep.
Out on the lake a lone skiff glides on that line between the black water and the moonlit sky. Four figures tug at the nets, while a fifth man navigates from the aft of the boat. The first hint of morning light reflects from the highest clouds as the crew lowers the net into the water for the last catch of the night. Kemuel lets go of the oar with one hand and runs his fingers through his hair, making sure to keep the other hand firmly fastened to the starboard steering-oar. Fishing has been slow tonight. They may all go home with little or nothing to show for the nights work. Kemuel reaches into the water and splashes a handful on his face before placing it back on the port steering-oar. Everyone is tired by this time of night so there isn’t much idle conversation. Indeed, most of the work is done in silence.
For Kemuel, this is his favorite time. The stars can still be seen above the clouds and the light of the moon reflects from the peak of every wave. After making a slow, methodical swing to starboard Kemuel hears his partner’s voice boom in the dark, “Alright boys, let’s bring it in.” Two of the men drop their oars and add their hands to the task of pulling at the water soaked ropes, while Kemuel continues following an invisible course among the waves. Once the net is let down it forms a wall that extends 12 feet down and 300 feet long. It is dressed with basalt rings on one edge that roll along the bottom of the lake as their boat sails...