This time of year, the moon seems to pass almost directly overhead. Tonight, though, it has been swallowed by the clouds. Halfway past the full, it nonetheless is bright enough to marble the sky with veins of light, which shift as the clouds tumble in the upper winds. Here below, all is stillness, and the scent of rain that refuses to fall. I walk through this pale diffusion of moonlight, surrounded by dim shapes, listening to the muffled sound of my footsteps on the dry pavement. I imagine the rain that is falling far to the north, the sound of water dripping from trees onto thirsty soil, the look of fog swirling through mountaintop forests. Around me here, there is obstinate silence. The leaves of the bushes are without even so much as a trace of dew. I cannot see my breath. When will the rain come?