When he stood up, a rain shadow marked where he had been sitting on the ground, cross-legged, watching the low clouds skim past the undulating hills. They had hidden the setting sun and were hastening the transition to night, abbreviating the dusk.

On the other side of those clouds were stars, so many that it simply didn’t make sense to the mind of anyone who had lived their life in cities. Stars that seemed to continuously multiply, compounding infinitely. Stars set in a sky with such depth that it felt like a bottomless se had been inverted and hung above everything, as if to extinguish all doubt as to the utter irrelevance of every worry and problem that existed on a human scale. Stars that, when they sang in unison, could fill the soul like a fire hose fills a goldfish bowl.

But this evening, they only whispered in cloistered silence above the heavy blanket over the land. That night, a rain song played instead.

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