The new moon is in two days on April 29. I will be outside looking up at the night sky on April 30, new moon +1. It has always been one of my favorite sights in the night sky. It has also become an anniversary of sorts.
At the end of February in 1999, a fast-moving fire burned my brother's house to the ground. It claimed his step-daughter and our sister, Linda. John also kept our family history so almost all our family photographs and my father's relics from World War II went up in flames as well.
During this dark time, I did little but go to work and come home again. I remember driving home one March night after parent-teacher conferences and rediscovering one of my favorite astronomical events. I stood in my driveway for a long time watching the first sliver of light from that month's new moon rising behind the trees. It is an event that is almost invisible--a thin curved and glowing wire, a trace of white light edged with purple shadows. It is subtle. It is elegantly beautiful--and it never fails to take my breath away. This night was no exception but this time I audibly gasped with the wonder of a new discovery.
March 25, 1999 was new moon +1. Since that day, new moon +1 has become the anniversary of the day I rediscovered joy. It is the anniversary of when I remembered the world is still a beautiful place. It is an anniversary I hope to celebrate every month for the rest of my life.