Yesterday's heat has been dissipated by the night's chill. The stars are diminished in number by a thin overcast. Last evening, as I stood in the back yard, a sudden breeze sent a few dozen browned oak leaves fluttering down to skitter on the walkway. Despite the heat, there came an autumnal sense, and thoughts of deeper chills to come, as though the breeze had been blown back to now from future winter. I have never liked the winter here, but now I had a vision of snow falling in gray silence, piling up until all the houses were buried, and the whited tips of trees rose above a pristine mass, the sleeping town an icy Pompeii, concealed utterly: And this vision was heartening. Let the town go to sleep under falling snow, and wake to darkness enveloping each of its isolated fragments. Let voices be muted by the serene mass of accumulated flakes, so that the small creatures trekking the soft surface hear nothing from below but, perhaps, the collective vibration of stifled muttering.