Winter in the Country
By Claude McKay
Sweet life! how lovely to be here
And feel the soft sea-laden breeze
Strike my flushed face, the spruce's fair
Free limbs to see, the lesser trees'
Bare hands to touch, the sparrow's cheep
To heed, and watch his nimble flight
Above the short brown grass asleep.
Love glorious in his friendly might,
Music that every heart could bless,
And thoughts of life serene, divine,
Beyond my power to express,
Crowd round this lifted heart of mine!
But oh! to leave this paradise
For the city's dirty basement room,
Where, beauty hidden from the eyes,
A table, bed, bureau, and broom
In corner set, two crippled chairs
All covered up with dust and grim
With hideousness and scars of years,
And gaslight burning weird and dim,
Will welcome me... And yet, and yet
This very wind, the winter birds
The glory of the soft sunset,
Come there to me in words.
I spent my birthday with my family -- first with Paul's parents on the Frederick Museums by Candlelight tour and at California Tortilla for dinner; then with my parents as well as Paul's parents at Adam's high school's Scenefest, in which Adam was performing in a one-act play; then at home, where Paul made me a cake that all eight of us ate. I was given a Maggie Sansone CD, a couple of books, and a Tarot deck. It's already nearly midnight -- we missed the Army-Navy game and Heisman Trophy show, no great loss in either case -- so I will illustrate the day in photos and talk more tomorrow!
My immediate family with my birthday cake (marzipan chocolate, mmm). We ate it with both sets of parents.
Much earlier, just after brunch, we watched model trains pass the model of the Brunswick roundhouse at the Brunswick Railroad Museum.
Then we visited the South Mountain Heritage Society, housed in the 1829 German Reform church building in Burkittsville, which had this gingerbread model of one of the stores in town.
We stopped by the Dahlgren Chapel near the South Mountain summit, which had its balcony and bell tower open...
...and at Kiparoo Farm, where sheep graze with South Mountain in the distance. All these places had hot drinks and yummy snacks!
We also stopped at South Mountain Creamery, because what's a birthday without fresh eggnog and a smooch from a calf?
Adam got his face licked by one of the dairy's dogs...
...and after dinner we got to see him perform in It's Not You in an evening that included scenes from Shakespeare, The Lion King, and various other short pieces!