A Photo I didn’t Take

Hey, everyone! Today’s the 47th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 13, the one that didn’t make it to the moon. It’s amazing to think they were able to get through that and make it home safely. They made a movie about it. I tried to get out with my camera to get a shot of the moon and Jupiter last night, and had a little, but not much luck.

A photo I didn’t take yesterday is of the trees across the street, still bare. Their buds, confused by the early spring’s roller coaster weather, are still waiting for just the right moment to burst open; to make the neighborhood sneeze. The branches were silhouetted against the sky, against a thin, broad layer of high clouds, something more liked waxed paper than the thick foil, matte side down, that has hung over my neighborhood since December. As I clapped the mud from the afternoon’s hike off three pairs of boots, the moon, just barely above the hill, just barely waning, just past mid-life, and Jupiter, 400 million miles past it, but just two fingers away in the sky, cleared the houses across the street. The two were bright enough to pierce the haze. I imagined Jupiter’s four big, planet-sized moons lined up along its equator, directing traffic to some mysterious and poorly hidden treasure. I imagined the view of Earth and Moon from Ganymede. Both of them tiny, remote, helpless, and dark, silhouetted by the sun. Behind me, I could hear my daughter, panicked, rushing to find me, to protect me from herself, before I, or my inattentive feet, found her soccer ball the hard way, lying in the darkened hallway. As she caught sight of me, outside, silhouetted against the trees, silhouetted against the moon, she pushed the door open, and sent a dill-and-lemon-scented remnant of Passover cooking into the humid air. We stood in the yard, alone. I wondered what she’d tell her grandparents about that moment tomorrow, or her friends next week when they asked her how she spent her April break, or what she’d tell a different group of friends in 20 years. “Saturn?” she asked. I shook my head, scoffed, and left her out in the yard, alone. As the pneumatic arm kept the screen door from slamming, I heard her laugh as I tripped on her soccer ball.


8 thoughts on “A Photo I didn’t Take

  1. There was just a thin layer of cirrus clouds last night, but I could still see the Moon and I could kind of see Jupiter through the clouds. The clouds made both the Moon and Jupiter look fuzzy, almost dream-like.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah. It was a little more than thin here, but we probably had a similar view. It was dreamy. I love the view of the full moon, filtered through clouds like that. Late night is no time for the harsh light of a full moon. A wash of clouds softens it, and turns it back toward an early gibbous’s pale. Late, around midnight, I was able to sneak out in my bathrobe and snap a couple of photos. Maybe I’ll post them another day.

    Were you able to see Spica through the haze? That’s a good star, even with the controversy around the pronunciation of its name.


    1. I agree. It’s more important to slow down, and live life, not always document it. I’ve had to stop myself a bunch lately, remember why I love the sky, and remember to just… be.

      Thank you, Maria. I’m a dope. I can’t believe I didn’t say anything in that post about Passover and Easter. 🙂 I’m kind of taking this week off from writing, but inspiration struck, so I wrote. I knocked it out so quickly that I didn’t wish everyone happy holidays. My best for a wonderful Easter for you and your family.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks. Those sorts of posts, the ones about my family, are always a little harder to write. I’m glad you like them. You’re absolutely right, though, kids haven’t forgotten. It’s good to be able to learn from them, too, along with trying to teach.

        Liked by 1 person

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