Pale striations of cloud join the stars as the moon sets. I can smell the damp that permeates the soil. There are more crickets tonight, though they are not yet so numerous as to make a continuous noise, and they still chirp slowly. Night is placid and dim, the landscape vague, the houses barely visible- mere fragments that emerge from the darkness. Without movement, the air yet makes itself known by its chill. I can hear myself breathing. The rain which has made the earth release its scent has been here before, countless times. I sense the moisture rising, sucked by roots, moving through vegetable capillaries, seeking the leaves from which it will return to the air to drift and gather and fall again. I am aware of the crickets moving in the grassy jungles of the lawn, treading the damp, deep-shadowed soil under the bushes. The song I hear has not ceased in ages, and the vapor I inhale is far more ancient still. A moth flutters so near that I feel the brush of its wing. Suddenly, the stars have drawn very close.