Posted by: Peadar Ban | December 4, 2008


Were it not for the fact that Mariellen was late in picking me up after work last night I wouldn’t have seen the crescent moon, and the brilliance of Jupiter and Venus close by.  Because she was I stood outside in the parking lot and looked above the roof of the Rectory at the three friends slowly moving across the sky. So bright was the moon’s shape that one could make out its entire disk, and the sky nearby had a deep Prussian blue tint from the pure white glow.  Venus and Jupiter, like two jewels, outshone all but their brighter night time companion.  Not another star dared compete.

When she did arrive, I invited Mariellen to get out of the car and look up at the sight with me.  As we stood together watching, I considered all of the cars whizzing past on Manchester Street unaware of what was happening above them, and wished they would stop and look, too.  The temptation to stand on the curb and point up was resisted.

We were getting ready to leave when I noticed Johnathan and his Mom and sisters getting into their car.  I called him over and told him to look up.  “You mean at the Moon and Venus and Jupiter,” he said.  “I saw them just a while ago.”  It’s funny, but I wasn’t surprised that he would have seen them.  He’s that kind of boy; well rounded.  He told me that the family would check them out later on at home, where they have a telescope.  I asked him to take a picture and he told me they didn’t have an “astronomical camera”. No matter, it was a beautiful sight, one I’ll keep in my album of memories for a long while.

As we were leaving, he waved us down.  Someone needed a key to the church to retrieve a back pack they’d left inside after the Girl Scouts meeting was over.  I let them in, and waited at the door while they ran downstairs to the Hall and retrieved the back pack. It was the homework, really, and their mother was the most anxious.  I’m sure that the girls would have been happy to leave it there for a few days.  They returned and ran to their cat.  I locked the door.  Finally, I took one more look above me.  Someone mentioned, (was it Johnathan?), that if I hadn’t called him over they’d never have been able to retrieve the lost back pack.  Maybe, maybe not. But, surely, without Mariellen being late there’d have been no night-time beauty above to drink in, and no friendly moments below to share.

What a grace…

December 2, 2008


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