August 12th, 2004



Softly, a northern breeze cleared the clouds, and I watched stars emerge as nearby trees rustled. I saw a few faint meteors streak by, and two bright ones. I saw no red glow in the dark south, where the fire burns, but the sky there has remained obscured all night. The fire is more distant than I thought yesterday afternoon, though it could advance, should the wind veer about, but for now not even the scent of smoke reaches me. Very late, the clouds returned for a while, then vanished again in time for moonrise. The thin crescent's pale light dusted the trees for a brief hour before the sky became a vivid, deep blue, and the approaching day began to reveal the colors of the roses and the lawn. Momentarily, I expect the quiet to be broken by the songs of waking birds. Until then, I listen only to the whisper of that welcome breeze, grateful that it marks the onset of an at least slightly cooler day.


Afternoon's light had a yellow cast, lent to it by the smoke from the fire. I always find such light enervating, and in combination with the heat, it left me feeling lethargic. As yet, there is no fall of ash, nor has any smell of the burning reached this place, but the way in which the glow of the town's lights a mile away is circumscribed by a deep darkness in the sky, it is apparent that the air above is not clear. I glance to the south now and then, to see if any reddish glow appears, but thus far there is none. This place always feels strange when there is a large fire nearby, even when the town itself is not directly threatened. It feels closed in, and even sounds seem dampened, as though a mass of cotton wool had been laid over the world. I'll be glad when the fire is out.