The lagoon reveals the primitive yet true life of Venice : earth and sand scattered among sky and water, small wild plants wreathed in fog, lost fishermen's dwellings...

This lagoon is almost inaccessible. Nobody knows its secret channels but a few of fishermen. In these isolated parts, there is no one to hear you. The fog can come suddenly, hiding the next pole a hundred feet ahead, and the current draws you away. The seabed rises dangerously beneath water. It will be easy to penetrate with a flat boat at high tide, pushing the seabed with a pole. Yet ventured in ebbing tide, you can be trapped by the soft sands which are to emerge all around you, little by little as a nightmare; only the tide's coming in, six hours later, will float your boat again.

There, however, water has forgotten the storm-beaten high sea, for some time, in order to kiss and mould these old marshes. Its salty streams meet and cover lost rivers, where fresh water is still running in the depths and feeding ropes of rushes.

At the very bottom of the lagoon, there is a spot where waters become magic. All of a sudden, the shallow vanishes into the sands, submarine bushes hurry under the sheet of water and scratch the bottom of the boat, the wind pushes the wavelets afar while current streams the water elsewhere. The bewitching and imperceptible song of the lagoon rises out and whispers. You could stay there for ever - as though action were vain, and peace unbearable - if a thin pole did not mark the shallow bend on the even water, and the invisible way which does not wait.

Now the shallow shrinks and disappears; Montiron House, a fisher dwelling, stands here warming in the sun. Trees behind it spread their branches all around, crowning it. Cheerful birds cheep in these immensities. A clod of earth sixty yards wide has been enough to maintain the crooked house. It opens trustily, waiting for its masters to come back for shelter or to mend their nets. Kitty cat has been left, doing her own fishing, and hardly touching ground when walking. Some faithful boats rest.

On sandy and muddy banks, rough small plants gather and draw their little arms to the fleeing water. Small white balls twinkle in the sun, surmounted by tiny and brilliant little things whirling round. The sun glances its last radiance and burns no more.

Earth colour and round fine tiles; dark-red and somehow irregular bricks; an almost forgotten roughcast : such comes out of bushes a proportioned peaceful dwelling, Salina House. Motionless, it waits. With their tangled branches, shrubs border its domain, which little by little fills up with brambles and weeds. Fresh water sprang here, in the middle of the lagoon, and this heightened close of good soil used to bear a kitchen garden, hens and cows. There was a family living among water and wind. The channel has been silted up; the bricked up wharf, with white matched stones, has fallen down. The dwelling seems yet to smile, and leans ashamed against an expanded buzzing tree; but a slight grin crumbles its bricked face, and its eyes blindly seek the ones who nevermore will return.

Days follow days, in salt and sun.

Once upon a time, there were high weeds, weeds so high that they entirely hid the channels which went through. A boat has wandered as far as there. And it has paused, quietly, for a rest, as if it were in a garden, concealed in a soft cushion of weeds... A melancholic pole is holding it, leaning on the shore. And silently, both of them listen to the rustling of the weeds in the wind.