Wind makes the pines howl and shout. The stars remain obscured. The wind is layered. At the ground, the air barely stirs, and the last week's fallen mulberry leaves lie still. I stand clear of the house and the sheltering growth, and cold gusts ruffle my hair and chill my face. It is not an unpleasant cold. A few feet higher than my head, the tops of the taller evergreen shrubs frequently rustle and chatter, even when I feel only the slightest brush of air on my cheek. Higher still, the pine branches sing constantly, and the tops of the trees, dimly silhouetted against the eastern sky's growing paleness, wave and bow, gesticulating like an enraptured choir. But even the tallest of the leafless oaks stand mute, a mere quivering of their bony twigs the only response to the surging waves of ecstatic air. I wait to see what strew of brown needles upon the ground dawn exposes, and how the pines glow a more tender green by their rough removal.