The quarantined diaries: Oh, to be in the country!

In quarantine at home in the city, I dream of being out in the country. If I could but see “a host, of daffodils…” but photos are the next best thing.

by Phyllis Chesler

Cooped up, shut in, as so many of us are, I am surrounded by city noises: sirens, fire trucks, car alarms—and a strange and eerie silence. I asked some friends to send me photos from the countryside.

I have always found Nature to be a great healer of woes: comforting, humbling, enchanting, so much so that it relieves me temporarily of all my earthly burdens. The steady roar of the sea, a leafy, gigantic tree, the sweet smell of grass, insanely colorful flowers swaying in the breeze, the songs of birds, the greatness of the sky—all, all remain freshly wondrous, as if it is still the Days of Creation. As Wordsworth  wrote:

“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze …”

Dr. Donna Hughes, in the Pennsylvania countryside sent winsome birds: blue Grackles.

Cantor Rahel Sharon Jaskow, sent me an exquisite photo of a bee lighting upon a flower somewhere in Israel. 

Dr. Paula Boddington sent me the indoor garden she’s in the midst of planting on her terrace in London, quite near St. Mary Battersea, where the poet William Blake was married and which has stood at that spot for fourteen centuries.

There are gardens galore in and around Manhattan but those over seventy have been advised not to go out at all. So, no Central Park and no Riverside Drive Park for me, and no Brooklyn Botanical Gardens either—a place I visited every year as I grew up in Brooklyn. 

But, if it doesn’t rain, and if it’s not too chilly, and if the pollen count is not that high, and if the walkway is not crowded, I will sneak out to the East River again. 

Please send me photos of Nature from around the world. I will print them out and surround myself with scenes of Nature as a shield against the city noises.




London porch




Bee in Israel

First published in Israel National News.