There is always soil in the air; flashlights reveal this at night in shaking gold cones as one meanders over powder-fine stuff called moondust to a portajohn thick with the smell of ammonia, so acrid you can taste its bitterness in your sinuses and on the back of your tongue. You taste it as you try not to bite down and disturb the dirt that has settled on your teeth in just that brief walk from your bed late on a chilly low-illume night.

Quarter moon, low illume, means you can hardly see anything without a flashlight, and flashlights draw all sorts of attention. Full moon, high illume, gives enough light for bad guys to do their bad stuff at night, for the most part without being caught. I think these are something like fundamental concepts in the strategy and practice of war. I just hadn’t given them much thought before this summer.