It's almost six o'clock in the evening. I am sitting at my desk in my office, looking out the window towards the west.
Bare branches from my majestic ash sweep across my view, a few tenacious leaves still clinging to the spindly twigs at the ends. Other thin branches - the ones I ought to have pruned earlier in the year - scrape across the glass, their scratchy greeting seeming friendly and companionable at this hour, not frightening like it does in the middle of the night when the wind moans and I wake up with a strt imagining Heathcliff at my window sash.
It's not such a stretch. Beyond the ash branches, a line of pines stand guard, and beyond them there is nothing but fields and meadows stretching out to the western edge of the property.
And above that, tonight, at dusk, a thin golden streak of light sits on the horizon: a single line of light providing illumination between the greying clouds that hold the promise of snow and the dark forest below.