‘Four centuries later monks began living again in the caves above what had once been the temple clearing. It had been a long era of humanlessness, religiouslessness. The knowledge of such a monastery had vanished from people’s minds and the site was an abandoned forest sea. What was left of wooden altars was eaten by colonies of insects. Generations of pollen silted the bathing pool and then rough vegetation consumed it, so it was invisible to any passerby who did not know its sudden loose depth, which was a haven for creatures that scurried on the warmth of the cut rock and on unnamed plants in this nocturnal world.

For four hundred years the unheard throat calls of birds. The hum of some medieval bee motoring itself into the air. And in the remnant of the twelfth-century well, under the reflected sky, a twist of something silver in the water.’

– Michael Ondaatje, Anil’s Ghost