A cloudscape, intermittently moonlit, distracted me from ordinary earth. Wreaths of light were hung on rumpled puffs of dust miles wide, roiling in slow motion, a silent, unscented fire, bright only by contrast with the dark land. The unstirred trees were silent, too, though distance whispered of winds that flowed down the canyons, brushing the freshened streams. Last evening, the lowest clouds were boiling from those now-invisible clefts like pale steam. Strange, how light transforms chill vapors to suggestions of heat, and yet the damp that covers the pavements it makes look colder, like ice that glows from below. Those few moments when the clouds parted and revealed the moon, the earth was frozen in its light. The light now is pale, as the waxing moon sets, the clouds regathered to obscure it, only a few thin spots in the overcast glowing with a faint blue tint. Where the pines rise to displace the sky, fragments of light penetrate their dark mass and reveal small images of twisted branches hung with clumps of needles. They are like runes which scribe an invitation to pass toward that light. The distance they reveal seems greater than the distance of the hidden stars.