The new moon last week ushered in a cycle that will end on our baby's due date. These four weeks will be a time of battening down the hatches, tying up loose ends and generally trying to ensure that the various plates I've started in motion have enough momentum to keep whirling along in my absence.

Our baby shower, yesterday in the garden, happened the weekend after updated guidance from the US Center for Disease Control that vaccinated people can be unmasked without restrictions indoors. The change could be felt palpably in the sometimes-overwhelming crowd at our house - more than one person told me that this was the first time they'd felt safe with this many people since the pandemic started, and I don't think I was the only one who needed to warm up to this happy milestone.

The coming month will be a time to build our nest, spinning a cocoon out of which our new family will emerge near the end of the summer. I am grateful beyond words to be able to share this with so many dear friends whose physicality I hadn't been able to experience in far too long, and my heart is full.