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.