We recognize and celebrate the cycles of our lives -night and day, the passing of seasons, birth and death- through rituals, many of which have religious trappings. Until relatively recently, religious speculations were the only stories humans had for making sense of such things. Now, as we learn more about how the universe works, people are becoming more secular, but our desire for ritual and tradition to mark the events of our lives remains. What’s a modern secular person to do? In this book, Sasha Sagan, daughter of the late Carl Sagan, shares some of the things she and her family have come up with. As such, the book can be seen as suggestions for secular ways to mark meaningful events, but in large part, it’s a tribute to her dad, a truly great and inspirational human being. I can only imagine the sense of loss Sasha felt when he died. I know I did, and I only knew him through his writings and public appearances. To me, Carl Sagan epitomized humanity at its best. He is missed. I found him both enlightening and inspirational. He left the world far too soon, but he made a positive difference. That’s as much as any of us can hope for.