By Robert Browning
The gray sea and the long black land;
And the yellow half-moon large and low;
And the startled little waves that leap
In fiery ringlets from their sleep,
As I gain the cove with pushing prow,
And quench its speed i' the slushy sand.
Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;
Three fields to cross till a farm appears;
A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
And blue spurt of a lighted match,
And a voice less loud, through its joys and fears,
Than the two hearts beating each to each!
A relatively uneventful day. Paul had a half-day of vacation left that had to be used by the end of the year, so he took the afternoon off since the weather was beautiful and we went to Great Falls National Park, the Maryland side, so we could walk along the C&O Canal. We didn't go out to the falls overlooks like we usually do but stayed on the towpath, walking about a mile and a half towards Washington, DC where some new bridges have been built and the clear, beautiful water reflected the evergreens on the rocky banks.
The C&O Canal reflecting trees on the rocks above it.
The canal boat Charles F. Mercer covered and docked for the winter.
Someone had strung Cheerios and berries on the evergreen as holiday decorations/food for the birds.
This is one of the lock houses where the person who had to open the lock for passing boats lived.
This bridge over the canal...
...has a built in floodgate to protect the canal in case the water levels rise.
The canal is lined with white oak trees like this one.
In the evening I had to watch a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode to review it ("Time Squared" -- holds up very well) and then on impulse put on "Breakaway," the first episode of Space: 1999. My kids tend to laugh at the original Star Trek for looking so cheesy so I expected them really to ridicule this, but older son in particular watched entirely attentively! It's a good episode, has government corruption and a scientific mystery and lots of action near the end, but when those Eagles crash...eep. Even so, the writing holds up passably and Barbara Bain looks great. So we will be watching more of those!
I always thought Benazir Bhutto was extremely brave. She knew that, like her father and brothers, she would probably end up dying young. I know that she had her faults as a leader and that her Harvard and Oxford education and wealth made her very atypical among women from her country. But she knew there were people who would try to kill her purely because of her gender, and others who would try to kill her because of her political views and alliances, her Western ties, her government's corruption and her expensive clothes. She could have chosen to remain a wealthy exile making speeches from a distance to foreign politicians and journalists about how best to help the people of her country. Instead, as soon as she was permitted, she went back to Pakistan, apparently believing that she could help fight for democracy in the face of considerable resistance to her personally and to her own previous mistakes. Now she's gone, and others have died and will die in her name and in opposition to her name. I find the news so heartbreaking.