My skywatching experience two mornings ago was the most satisfying and joyful of my life. I think this peak experience came together because of a number of factors. First, it was a culmination of a regular practice this past year of intentionally getting up early to watch the sky, take photos and video, and do my astrological practice out in nature rather than abstracted by an ephemeris, which had been my primary practice for years. Doing this practice many mornings this past year became a positive feedback loop, and it has brought me so much happiness.
It was also, of course, the incredible rarity and beauty of this particular alignment. Even though I knew it was likely to be very special, I really had no idea what the particular formation would look like each night from this latitude, from this city, from each of the unique vantage points I selected for viewing. It is an exciting practice, and I wish I knew how satisfying urban sky walking could be earlier in my life here, but now I know.
Another huge and unexpected factor, that I could have never predicted, was the totally unique circumstances for viewing this alignment under the San Francisco Shelter in Place rules. The city was totally empty from 4 to 6 am, devoid of cars and people roaming the streets, and there has been this feeling of safety and solitude for communing with the sky. These weeks San Francisco has felt like small-town Mayberry, and to walk the pre-dawn streets has been so peaceful. These mornings have been so crucial to my mental health in these very challenging times, and for this I feel blessed.