We pitched our tent in a flat field bordered by blackberry bushes. From our small green cocoon, I could see the Milky Way tumbled across the sky. I can never make out much more than the angular scoop of the Big Dipper in the milky purple dark that passes for night sky in the city, but there, in the crisp dark above Auvergne, big fat stars hung together in constellations as clear as the ones I used to trace in my night sky atlas as a kid. They quivered and glistened in the dark, pluckable as Sauternes grapes. The thirteen miles we’d walked that day finally caught up with me, and I drifted off with my eyes riveted on a jewel in Orion’s belt. I woke a few hours later to arching pale blue. The stars were gone, as though someone had taken an eraser to the sky.