Once the moon has set, the dark wall of trees encloses an enclave of night, roofed by an only slightly paler swath of sky where a few stars shine amid a mottling of small clouds. It grows so dark that even the white azaleas blooming by the driveway can barely be seen. But most noticeable is the sound of wind, soft yet persistent, stirring the pines and filling the night with a hollow sound that continues for hours. The air near the ground barely stirs, provoking infrequent chills, as though random ghosts were passing, but the sound of moaning does not fade until the gray light begins to reveal the landscape and dim colors emerge. All the vertiginous night it seemed as though everything had been caught in some whirlpool of air and was sinking. It was a relief to see the everyday world revealed, unchanged, but a greater relief to hear only the sound of morning birds punctuate the new-fallen stillness.