As a child I often felt a sense of melancholy arrive with dusk. It might creep up as I walked homeward or as I dealt with some task in the yard, or it might suddenly sweep over me in mid-game if I were with a group. As an adult, I've reverted to this pattern most often when I've been ill or out of sorts. I've come to associate illness with childhood. Maybe illness is like childhood in that one's power is reduced and dependence increased. I just watched the sky turn dark and the rural world vanish, and even now that full night has arrived some sense of sadness lingers. I watch the few stars and listen to the summer insects buzz, and hear the dog next door snuffle along the fence on the trail of some nocturnal visitor. The night is pleasant, but tinged with the memory of that hour of decline, that slow fade which was like the essence of loss.