I am no longer the same as I was before the pandemic. I can’t just pick up my old life, pretend there’s not a half-year gap. Social contact, I read, is one of the most complicated things for our brain.
This Christmas, in a year that took so many magical rituals from us, I think back to my “Grandpa and Grandma Amsterdam,” as we called them, living in their upstairs apartment on the Nachtegaalstraat — or Nightingale Street.
He was sitting on a metal heating grid on the lawn next to the Graduate College. A squirrel. A fat squirrel, I must say. A squirrel on steroids, with a huge pot belly.
My news diet changed during the Trump administration. And then I found poetry.
In April I saw my first fox trotting in front of Nassau Hall. In June I saw a coyote, playing close to a deer family. But at last, the student have returned, and the animals hide themselves again.
Covid stopped us for almost a year from crossing the Hudson, but now it was time for a dose of Gotham.
‘I have only one lesson,’ Roger Berlind told a group of Princeton students. ‘Follow your intuition. Do what your heart says.’
When my children were much younger, I sometimes burst into tears realizing that one day they would not be permanently around me anymore. Now I realize children need to leave the nest when they are ready.