When I left the apartment night before last, I hadn’t bothered to grab a coat, only planning on a quick trip across the parking lot to the dumpster and back. I don’t even know what made me look up after tossing the bag inside, but when I did there it was.
A planetary conjunction.
A perfect triangle.
On the left side was a brilliant waxing moon and on the right an equally bright Venus. If I hadn’t heard about the impending triangular conjunction on the radio earlier that afternoon (and then promptly forgot about it) I wouldn’t have known it was even called a conjunction and I certainly wouldn’t have noticed Mars. The red planet didn’t shine as brilliantly as its moon and Venus counterparts, nor did it appear as large, but if you knew it was there you could easily make out its ruddy glow forming the top point in the moon and planet triangle.
What an amazing universe we live in.
What an amazing coincidence that I went out with the garbage during the two hours once a decade that this conjunction is so easily visible from earth.
Since it was -15 C and I didn’t have a coat, after a couple of minutes I turned to go back to the apartment. I felt like I always do when I witness these events, be they super moons, comets, eclipses or what have you. There is always a sense that simply looking at them and then walking away isn’t right. The moment should be honored somehow. Like I should have spread banquet tables across the parking lot complete with punch bowls, snacks and a live band or something. I feel guilty walking away. It’s like I’m shrugging at the universe (that said, I feel guilty about pretty much everything, including the garbage I had just tossed in the bin).
I was still in a fog of awe and guilt when I got back up to the apartment, so I put on my coat and made my husband come back down so we could admire universe’s handiwork together. It was like I was saying, “See Universe? I’m back. I really do care. And look! I brought my husband.” It wasn’t banquet tables and music, but it was something.
I could just imagine the conversation in the sky.
Humph. Did you see that woman toss her garbage, glance our way and then hug herself and run back into the building? Well, that’s it. We’ve had enough with being unappreciated. We’re shutting down the entire show. No more knocking ourselves out circling the sun and doing once in a decade dazzling things just so…wait a minute. Hey, she’s back! And she brought somebody with her. Well, in that case…everyone as you were. Keep on circling.
But anyway, crazy thoughts aside, I really am glad I got a chance to see it.
And Universe, if you’re listening…thanks for the show.