Sunday, October 31, 2010

Poem for Halloween and Autumn Parks

All Souls' Night, 1917
By Hortense King Flexner

You heap the logs and try to fill
The little room with words and cheer,
But silent feet are on the hill,
Across the window veiled eyes peer.
The hosts of lovers, young in death,
Go seeking down the world to-night,
Remembering faces, warmth and breath—
And they shall seek till it is light.
Then let the white-flaked logs burn low,
Lest those who drift before the storm
See gladness on our hearth and know
There is no flame can make them warm.


We went to bed last night not sure whether we were getting up early and going to the Rally For Sanity and/or Fear -- the kids were ambivalent about being out dawn till dusk, Paul was ambivalent about the crowds, and I wasn't feeling very well (the only disadvantage I've experienced from ten months of vegetarianism is cyclical anemia, and I was feeling really draggy on Friday, even worse on Saturday). So we ended up watching it from home while eating eggnog waffles and scrambled eggs with peppers...while part of me was sorry not to be there when Ozzy came marching on stage, another part of me was just as happy not to be worrying about how to get back through the throng from the port-a-potties midway through the rally. Things I loved: the musical "Train Wreck" with Yusuf Islam, Ozzy Osbourne, and the O'Jays; Stewart and Colbert's interpretation of Star Trek's "The Corbomite Maneuver" (hahaha they are bigger nerds than some of my friends); John Oliver's interpretation of Peter Pan; the Reasonableness Awards; Stewart's speech. And I discovered that John Legend is a graduate of my alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, which of course makes me happy. Otherwise I was ambivalent about the musical guests and don't feel like I missed much not getting to do The Wave, so I'm not deeply sorry I wasn't there in person. I am much sorrier that I never managed to connect with two friends who are in the area for the rally, though from talking to a couple of people downtown, I'm not sure how easily we'd have found each other even if I'd been in the city.

Instead, in the afternoon, we went to Brookside Gardens at Wheaton Regional Park, which was having a chrysanthemum show in the conservatory and had its own fall color on display outdoors. There are still many roses in bloom at this time of year, and though the geese seem to have wandered off -- I'm not sure any of the Canada geese in this area actually migrate -- there were still turtles and koi enjoying the afternoon sun. We also stopped at Meadowside Nature Center, where we hiked by Rock Creek and visited the raptors (younger son and I are a bit concerned because the eagle seemed very agitated and was very vocal, and when we looked at our photos afterward, it looked like there was a bleeding wound on his wing; the nature center itself was already closed when we left and will be closed tomorrow, so I hope whoever feeds the eagle can take care of this). It was dinnertime when we headed home and Paul mentioned that we weren't far from Cici's Pizza, so I rolled my eyes, checked to see whether Bagel City next door was still open, and went and got a cinnamon raisin bagel with walnut spread while the rest of the family had pizza buffet. The Maryland Terrapins had a huge win over Wake Forest, but we didn't see any of it; instead we got to see Duke beat Navy while at dinner, bah!

Brookside Gardens had gorgeous color outdoors, where the trees are in full autumn glory...

...and indoors at the chrysanthemum show.

Part of the gardens were roped off for a wedding.

Despite the cool weather, this turtle was sunning itself on a rock in the pond.

Here I am by the bird of paradise plant in the conservatory.

Though the nature center was closed, we visited the raptors at Meadowside Nature Center, all of which live in large outdoor cages since they have disabilities that prevent them from living in the wild.

Here is a photo of the sky over Rockville Pike at dinnertime, just because it's spectacular...

...and here, in honor of the rally, are our jack-o-lanterns, carved from patterns Paul found on the internet.

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