I note the graceful shape of a particular mulberry branch my window frames, and how its end sweeps upward like the corner of a pagoda roof. I note how all the outstretched leaves along the dependent twigs of that branch bounce and wave at varied rates, though all are moved by the same gusts of breeze. I note how some of the white parts of the drifting clouds remain white, while others take on the yellow tinge of the declining sun, and how some of the shaded gray clouds now glow with the first hint of lavender sunset. I note how much closer the sky seems now that the pine across the street has been stripped of most of its branches, and how the tree with its long, bare, swaying trunk topped by a scant two dozen branches is oddly reminiscent of a tall palm tree.
Then a shifting of light brings to my attention the pane of glass through which this scene is revealed, and I note the dense row of tiny smudges which cross it at a certain height. They are the nose prints the cat left when sitting on the sill, watching the winter pass. The anchor has come loose, and my thoughts drift with the flood.
Sunset comes and goes. Although the evening has turned chilly, I am reluctant to close the windows. The air is fresh and bracing, the fading sky appropriately melancholy. But more, once the windows are closed and the drapes drawn, I know the house will seem even more lonely and oppressive. I hear the first cricket chirp, slowly, slowly, like a fading heartbeat.