The last time the sun, moon, and earth aligned perfectly over the United States, it was August of 2017. The sky became night in the middle of the day. On onlooker in parts of the south stood in complete darkness, while here in the northeast, the afternoon sky reached twilight. Depending upon where one was in the United States, the experience of the total solar eclipse would have been different. And, those in parts of the world where daytime here is night saw nothing of the eclipse that was happening in the sky above. Onlookers who witnessed the solar event couldn’t help but struggle with the realization of just how small we are. How our human circumstances can change so quickly based upon shifts in our solar system over which we have no control.

In the case of a total solar eclipse, the moon passes between the earth and the sun, obstructing our view. And even though the moon is extremely small compared to the sun (about 1/3 the size), it can still block out the sun’s shadow because the moon is so much closer to us. Perspective. Taking something small—an event or an interaction–and turning it into something large—a lesson on life. Artistic perspective. This is what our writers have crafted for us this month—inspiring stories about a change in point of view. Motherhood will do that.

The theme or our late winter issue is “When the Stars Align,” and we love how our talented contributors played with our theme. Lori Drake in her essay “The Skein of Stars Shirt,” shares here story of a T-shirt passed down between her five daughters and how the shirt became a legacy of “cool” for her girls, but also a legacy of family, love, and tradition. Fiona Jones narrows in on our innate human attraction to sticks in a well-crafted micro-essay that says much about raising children. Amy Collini writes about motherhood, drawing us a real and true picture by comparing life without children to life as a parent in her essay “Before and After.” In “Run” by Kelley Vick, a mother overcomes her concerns about her active son getting hurt and learns to embrace his love of movement. Our final essayist, Maggie Walcott, tells a beautiful story of sisterly love in “Open Vessel,” a story that is hopeful and heartbreaking all at once.

Our poetry offerings are equally inspirational. We hope that each of them will speak to you as deeply as they spoke to us.

The movement of the stars is so slow through space and time that someone hundreds of years ago saw the same constellation that we might see if we look upward today. In fact, this alignment was always there, has always been there, whether man knew it or saw it. It will continue to be there if we would just open our eyes and look up.

All my best,