Phases of the Moon

Green_Praying Mantis

2013-08-27 – It is now dark when I leave the house in the morning. There was a bit of a haze in the sky this morning, so there were no stars, but a blurry third quarter of the moon shone through.

These signs are my calendar. A third quarter means that the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) will arrive next week (roughly at the time of the next new moon). On a clear morning I should be able to see the constellation Orion and the dog star Sirius.

I don’t really observe the Jewish New Year. At least not in a traditional way. I haven’t been in a synagogue, except for bar or bat mitzvahs for years. I miss the sound of the shofar, but I don’t miss the prayers and I don’t miss the sermons. I do think about where I am in my life, and I think about the traditional confessional of the season. Like many, I’m not a big sinner. There’s no murder, no rape, no pillaging to be guilty of. My sins are small slights. Sins of negligence. Sins of omission.

The truth is that I omit even looking at the calendar to find out the proper day for the observance of the holidays. My calendar is the sky.

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