The geologist in bunkhouse 2 has told him that limestone is formed from prehistoric marine life, from all the shells and dead sea creatures that collect at the bottom of the ocean and are compressed, over millions of years, into sedimentary rock. When James watches the barrack walls darken in the rain, he is reminded of the deep shade of the ocean, how it slopes off under the hull of a fishing boat. The darkness of the ocean always seemed empty to him, but now he thinks of the rock slowly forming along the seabed -a rock made of creatures that live in water. A rock essentially made from water.
A tale about nature and life carrying on despite the tumult of war, and there always being hope as long as there is life.