Down the road, I saw four high school age boys playing with a hackey sack. They were wearing shorts, and two of them were wearing "T" shirts. It made me cold just to look at them. In the field before the last ridge, all the trees but the pines are bare, and the brush under the pines has thinned so that the backs of the houses on the next street are visible. Everything is more exposed now. The brown stalks of summer's grasses have been beaten down, revealing the green of the short grasses which thrive on the winter rains. Distances have opened up in the woodlands, paradoxically making everything seem closer, as though the world had been compressed, huddled together for warmth.
For a while, the clouds were bright, but toward evening they thickened and the sun's light paled even before sunset. The grey dusk darkened to night, and the few birds who had sung in the afternoon fell into silence. Another starless night has come.