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Damp [Oct. 25th, 2002|06:05 am]
Glowing through thin clouds, the moon casts enough light to dimly reveal a world nearly shadowless. Large spaces and objects are distinct, but without detail. I can walk up the street and not wander off the pavement. I can cross the lawn and not run into a bush or a tree trunk. My footsteps are the only sound, except for an occasional falling acorn. For the first night in months, the crickets have fallen silent. The owl that hooted in the trees the last few nights has gone. The night is not much colder than was the day, but the dampness has increased. At last, in the silence I hear a faint sound like the crackling of a fire. Tiny raindrops are falling on the leaves of the mulberry tree. Standing in the pearly grey light, I feel the drops on my face. They are barely enough to dampen my hair, but they feel nice. The first raindrops of autumn.

Later, down the street, a motion sensor triggers the lights in a yard. I hear a rustling, and see a young raccoon climb partway up a tree. Then, two more raccoons emerge from behind a bush, and then two larger raccoons follow them. The raccoon from the tree clambers back down, and joins the others. They make their way up the street, and vanish in the grayness. I listen for a long time, but do not hear them climb a fence. They must know some other way into the fields beyond this block. Aside from my cats, they are the only creatures I have seen, or heard, all this quiet night.