As the moon wanes, night softens, and the look of the world approaches the vagueness of my thoughts. I am surprised at how tenaciously the trees cling to their dying leaves this year. Intermittent breezes rise, but seldom do I hear the skittering of fallen leaves. The ponderosas, though, are dropping their brown needles, concealing great swaths of pavement under a soft-looking carpet which actually crunches slightly when I tread on it. Very slowly, the leaves of the dogwood are turning a deep red. Eventually they will brighten, but now they are closer to maroon. Autumn is proceeding by fits and starts, and it seems almost as though the season were reflecting my mood. Or is it that my mind is under its influence? Maybe it is all coincidence. Whether one or the other is cause or effect, or all is random accident, everything seems tentative, and I find myself wondering how I wandered into this state. I can't remember the night when the summer insects ceased to chirp. I was inattentive, and failed to note their passing, and only now do I realize how much I miss the rhythm they gave to night. It is as though a band has stopped playing and the lights have gone out and I, overlooked, have only now wakened from a private reverie to find myself alone, standing in a deserted ballroom, not knowing if the crowd has just departed, or the dance ended a hundred years ago. Perhaps the feeling will pass, and I will find myself once again in the mundane world, or perhaps I have left the familiar behind forever, but for the moment I stand in a moonlit alcove of time, feeling the breeze that stirs but does not lift the veiling curtains, and I wait for the next click of the clock, uncertain that it will even come.