But there was something odd about the scene. It seemed darker than it ought to have been, with the moon half past the full. There were no distinguishable shadows, but there was a glow over everything. I stepped out into the yard, and looked back over the roof of the house to see the moon. Instead, I saw a single mass of cloud, stretching perhaps three miles from north to south, and about three quarters of a mile from east to west at its widest point. The western edge of it was only slightly east of where I stood. The center of this cloud was a dark grey, but all its edges were glowing brightly; a long path of silver light girdling the mass of grey. All around it, stars burned in perfectly clear sky, which seemed all the darker in contrast to the cloud. The cloud must not have been very thick, to pass so much light, yet it was thick enough that the moon itself could not be seen through it, except dimly, and for brief moments. The intricate weaving of bare twigs and branches stood out in stark silhouette against the bright rim.
As I watched, the cloud sent out a long, thin spear of itself toward the north, and the southern end rolled itself up to reveal more stars. I saw it expand toward the east, as well. It shifted about for several minutes, expanding and contracting, the vast center of it growing darker, then lighter. Gradually, it began to tear at the edges, and to thin out, until the moon was visible through it, surrounded by a moonbow. The unearthly glow which the cloud had produced faded, and the stars grew paler as the moon emerged. The bare trees became less distinct against the ordinary night sky, and began to cast thin shadows on the ground. I stood for a while in the failing breeze, and listened to silence fall on the forest. The brief minutes of the drama were over, to no applause. I wonder how small the audience was. Perhaps it was only me, and a few night birds. I have seen many spectacular skies on cloudy, moonlit nights, but never anything quite like this. I would like to think that someone else was watching, and was as awe-struck as I. It would be good to have someone who could tell me it wasn't merely something I dreamed.