First Quarter Moon
One of the best annual events in San Juan Bautista is the Sunrise ceremony at the Mission church on the Winter Solstice. The Mission, like a lot of other structures around the world, was constructed so the first light on December 21 directly strikes the face of the building. When the church doors are opened, light streams into the church, flooding the main aisle all the way to the altar and illuminating the golden backdrop behind it. The whole thing, when the weather is cooperative, is absolutely enchanting.
This year, of course, the church is closed due to COVID and gatherings are limited in size, so most people stayed away, leaving the courtyard comparatively open. The sky was beautifully clear, providing perfect conditions for a primo illumination - if we could have opened the doors. As it was, the Sunrise was majestic and even without the indoor fireworks, the experience was exquisite. The air was a crisp 32 degrees F, but I don't think anyone who showed up minded a bit.