Picks from the Hermitage

Like many Americans, my daily life has centered around my home since the pandemic began this past spring. I miss seeing friends and family and sharing traditions and moments with them.

The pandemic has slowed life down for many of us, and that might be a welcome change. Rarely venturing beyond my own neighborhood provides me with more leisure time to spend with books, films, and shows. Continue reading

A Fig Tree in Summer

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began more than three months ago, my physical life largely exists within the four walls of my home. I imagine that I’m living in a remote monastery or an arctic scientific outpost. That somewhat helps. Fortunately, my home has a small yard, allowing a safe space for fresh air and a connection with nature. Continue reading

Solace in the Garden

Amid the distressing events of the past weeks and days–ongoing pandemic, massive unemployment, police violence, civic unrest, and horrible presidential leadership, I’ve found it challenging to concentrate and write. My subjects have grown smaller in scope and range, largely focusing on the happenings of nature in my wife’s and my backyard. Continue reading

Plants & Animals

One recent morning, I wandered through my small backyard in Jersey City, New Jersey, reflecting upon the sudden changes and transformations wrought by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The wheels of modern life have ground to a halt. All the while, the natural world continues with its cycles of birth and death, regeneration and decay. Blinded by the securities and gifts of technology and medicine, had we forgotten that we belonged to that world? Continue reading