Shortly after 5:30 pm last night I raced outside. The clouds devoured the sky and the moon appeared within a smoky red circle. Interesting…

Taken with a regular lens and no filter. To the naked eye, the ring is redder.

But where was the bright conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn?

I looked again at 6:30, 7:00, and 8:00.

Like so many other promises from which this year bailed, it too fell flat in the skies above my house.

I asked myself why it mattered and concluded it isn’t the bright-star-effect, but the symbol it represents.

We are all in dire need of hope. We, like the wise men, ache for a sign of change and encouragement.

I pointed my camera toward the southwestern sky, snapped a few shots of the star-spackled sky.

Sighing, I gave up, went inside and called a friend who has been battling an illness. We had a lovely conversation.

This morning as I clicked through the photos, this appeared.

Just a dot in the corner, but…

I don’t know if this is the Christmas Star–the conjunction of two planets whose nearness is touted to be the closest in at least 800 years. But it was clearly brighter than all the other stars because none of them appeared in the picture.

As I cropped and enlarged, I noticed the image was more lopsided than round and does resemble one planet over another. Hmmm…

If you captured the conjunction, would you share your picture, send a link, or leave a thought. I’m hopeful this is the Christmas Star. I’ll look again tonight and see what turns up in the morning.

Renee Johnson is the author of Behind The MaskHerald AngelsAcquisition, and The Haunting of William Gray.  She is currently working on a sweet romance, and a historical novel, while editing a suspense novel which has international flair–an homage to her love of travel and foreign food.  She lives on a farm in North Carolina with her husband, Tony Johnson, and a very spoiled German shepherd named Hansel.