“Cornelia had had her eye on it for years. It reminded her of the cottage of a gnome. “Guhnome,” Aunt Shelley used to miscorrect. The other houses in the loose settlement by the pond were darkly weathered wood, but Cornelia’s was made of the local pale gray granite, sparkling here and there with tiny golden specks. It had green shutters. There was one room downstairs and one up, an outdoor toilet, a small generator. Aquatic vines climbed the stones. Frogs and newts inhabited the moist garden.
She spent more and more time there. At the bottom of the pond, turtles inched their way to wherever they were going. Minnows traveled together, the whole congregation turning this way and then that, an underwater flag flapping in an underwater wind. Birches, lightly clothed in leaves, leaned toward the pond.
“I worry about you in the middle of nowhere,” her daughter, Julie, said. But the glinting stones of the house, its whitewashed interior, summer’s greenness and winter’s pale blueness seen through its deep windows, the mysterious endless brown of the peaked space above her bed … and pond and trees and loons and chipmunks … not nowhere. Somewhere. Herewhere.”
- Edith Pearlman, “Self-Reliance,” Binocular Vision, 2011