The low-frequency, cycling hum of the dishwasher, heard faintly from upstairs, like slow heavy engines running below ground, far away. The train going by in the darkness, blowing the crossings as it trudges through the empty night: a faroff whistle. The steady tick of the bedside clock, a higher, smaller, sharper sound, all gears and escapements and springs in miniature. The trainwhistle again, moving, repeating, tracing the shapes of hillsides like the light from the full moon. The faint crackling glow of the stars, seen from a field high above the city, where a barn stands alone on a hilltop bisected by roads which, when traveled on a night like this, are lifting, elevating, to the spirit and the heart, as you ascend the slope at speed out of the valley, the hills and sky opening up before you, the engine easing into second as you make the turn and head home.