The year ends with a beautiful conjunction of Venus, the crescent moon, and Jupiter all in a line pointing down into the ocean toward where the sun has set--and then just below and to the left of Jupiter, Mercury as well.
The planets didn't show up in my photograph, so I offer only the beach at sunset.
Mercury in its tiny orbit will soon turn back toward the sun, while Venus still rises toward Aquarius. I am amazed at the width of its orbit and can't even visualize how wide Jupiter swings--it seems stationary just east of Sagitarrius, a marker for the reach of both Mercury and Venus.
I do my first beach jog in four weeks, having let the end of the semester, the Christmas rush, and visiting family members deflect me from exercise. Last week's storm has sculpted the sand, making a two-foot bench where there used to be a smooth slope.
Two days ago I walked with my mother-in-law on the boardwalk, past the various offerings of the sidewalk merchants and past the drumming circle--not a real jog. We saw Venus, Jupiter, Mercury and even the faint line of the beginning crescent moon in its first day past the new moon phase.