After a few hours, rain returned, and the clouds settled onto the ridge. For a while, there was both rain and fog. The grey shapes of trees grew faint and vanished, then reappeared only to vanish again as the fog drifted across the landscape. All the while, the rain fell and crushed the accustomed quietude of deep night. Then, for a while, the rain slowed to a gentle patter, and I could hear the reduced flow of water from the downspout tinkling down the gravel slope. I went out onto the porch and listened. There was a steady hum of wind in the treetops. I noticed that the saturated lower branches of the pines, which normally sweep downward, had dipped even further, while the higher branches kept their normal upward curve, making it look as though the trees had developed waists. A gust of stronger wind made the trees shudder and send out a fine spray of mist, and then the clouds opened up again. The rising wind sent cold raindrops flying onto the porch and against my face, and the sound again assailed my ears. I returned to the house, dampened and invigorated as the storm was renewed. Somewhere above these clouds the sky is turning a lighter blue, and soon the rumpled roof of the storm will shine brilliant white in the rising sun; but I will sleep under a grey blanket all the morning.