It was unseasonably warm the other day, nearly 60 and overcast, with reports of locally heavy rains that never arrived. Around 4, I took a break and went down to the C&O Canal for a walk. I needed to be near the river. I stopped to put my hand on some of the huge, ancient sycamores that lean out over the water. I looked up at them. I’ve always felt an affinity for these ungainly trees with their mottled bark: white, gray, and brown. They have irregular crowns, seldom grow straight, and often have multiple trunks. They are large, lumberingly awkward, and beautiful. As night falls, sycamores as the last trees to be taken by the darkness.