The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Sunday and Lake Whetstone Goslings

1 Corinthians 13
New International Version

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.


Though there were some bright spots, we had quite a sad Saturday. The kids slept late -- Daniel had stayed up half the night building his computer, Adam had been out late at Legally Blonde -- so the morning was the most peaceful part and I got some writing done. When we'd dragged them out of bed and fed them lunch, we went to Lake Whetstone in Gaithersburg, thinking that we might see goslings since we'd seen some in College Park the day before. And we saw many goslings in at least three large goose families, plus dozens of turtles, a frog, several great blue herons, a couple of green herons, and dozens of songbirds, but something upsetting happened near the end of our hike -- we startled a family of geese into racing into the lake, and as they got into the water, something pulled down one of their five goslings, which never resurfaced. We poked around with a stick to see if we could rescue it but in the murky water we never even saw what had pulled it down (we're thinking it was probably a snapping turtle) and after some alarmed squawking and flapping the parents swam away with the other four babies.


We came home, showered, and got changed in the middle of the afternoon to go to the memorial service for Steve, the father of Adam's friend Thomas, which was at a Unitarian church in Bethesda I'd never been inside before. It's a lovely building, lots of windows, and it was a lovely service: the reading from Corinthians above, two friends singing "Blowin' in the Wind" with guitar accompaniment, a Robert Frost poem, and remembrances by Steve's brother, friends, and colleagues as well as by Thomas and the biological mothers of both of Steve's children -- this is a wonderful family in that the birth parents of the adopted children are very involved in the children's lives. After the service there was a nice reception with lots of vegetarian food where I mostly knew neighbors and the fathers of other kids who had been on Adam and Thomas's soccer team years ago. There was a slide show on a continuous loop and I found out that Steve, whom I'd known was a social liberal and several years older than me, had been very involved in protesting the Vietnam War which was how he became a defense budget analyst for the Congressional Research Service -- a peacenik policy wonk, one of his friends said.

We took Adam, his girlfriend, and another friend back with us because the two boys had to get to the high school for the musical. Then we took Daniel back to Microcenter to get a cable he'd forgotten the day before and stopped in Trader Joe's for hummus and pita, though none of us were very hungry for dinner after the memorial reception. Adam went to IHOP with other techies after the show and Daniel worked on installing software while those of us at home watched Labyrinth, which we all like. It has been raining since we left the reception, which is just as well because we're still far behind on rainfall for the spring and it was an unseasonably warm day beforehand -- the reason goslings are hatching so early.

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