Sunday, October 09, 2011

Poem for Sunday and Scott's Run Through the Years

The Journey
By Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.


Daniel came home for Yom Kippur weekend -- for the food, I'm afraid, not the religious services, but the family togetherness is more important to me anyway, and for the sleep, since it sounds like people in the dorm stay up late playing loud music and get up early doing more of same. So we had a nice family day without setting foot in synagogue (I have found it impossible for years to think about teshuvah in the mobbed sanctuary of the enormous shul where my kids went to Hebrew school, as people who follow this journal surely know). We missed the downtown protests -- I agree with the anti-war sentiments but I really don't think the Air & Space Museum is the best target for demonstrations. After a quiet morning during which neither of my kids woke up before 11, we went to Scott's Run Nature Preserve, where Scott's Run spills into the Potomac River in a small waterfall. The leaves are only just starting to turn, but the weather was gorgeous and we had a nice hike down to the river.

Here are Paul, Daniel and Adam at Scott's Run.

Here is the 2010 version of the photo...

...and the 2009 version...

...and the 2008 version...

...and the 2007 version...

...and the 2006 version...

...and the 2005 version...

...and the 2004 version...

...and the 2003 version, in which I forgot to fix the settings so I got a blurry photo, but it inspired me to try to do it right the next year and then it became a point of comparison in terms of how tall everyone is.

In the evening we went with my parents to the home of a longtime friend to break the fast (well, for those who were fasting), along with other friends my parents have known for nearly 50 years, plus the children, grandchildren, and some other friends of the hostess. It is always lovely to see everyone and the weather stayed beautiful long into the evening, so we ate on the deck while the younger kids ran around in the yard (bagels, cheese, kugel, and more desserts than I want to admit to eating). Then we came home and watched the first five episodes of Blackadder, having bought the Ultimate Edition when it was's less-than-half-price Deal of the Day last week, figuring our kids who love Mr Bean and Monty Python would appreciate that too, which they did.

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