December 2020

Readers Write

Holidays

Chinese New Year in Philadelphia, Thanksgiving in Mexico, Passover in prison

By Our Readers
One Nation, Indivisible

December 2020

Featuring John Elder, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Craig Childs, and more.

The Dog-Eared Page

The Only Real Story

I think of the children who will never know, intuitively, that a flower is a plant’s way of making love, or what silence sounds like, or that trees breathe out what we breathe in.

By Barbara Kingsolver
Quotations

Sunbeams

In spite of our rather boastful talk about progress, and our pride in the gadgets of civilization, there is, I think, a growing suspicion — indeed, perhaps an uneasy certainty — that we have been sometimes a little too ingenious for our own good. . . . We are beginning to wonder whether our power to change the face of nature should not have been tempered with wisdom for our own good, and with a greater sense of responsibility for the welfare of generations to come.

Rachel Carson

The Sun Interview

Our Great Reckoning

Eileen Crist On The Consequences Of Human Plunder

In this current pandemic the fear and upheaval drove Americans to hoard toilet paper and guns and ammo. Try to imagine a food shortage instead of a scarcity of toilet paper.

By Leath Tonino
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Maine Escapes

The deckhand helps where he can. He flips a few lobsters right side up. He tucks a stray antenna away from the pinch of the crate’s hinges. The lobsters, when he holds them, emit a faint buzzing noise — sort of like a scream, if you think about it, and the deckhand does.

By Nick Fuller Googins
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Penance For Nico

I first met Nico at a gathering of country-club types. We two misfits clearly didn’t belong at such a party, where the other guests had doused themselves in so much cologne that we were forced to escape our host’s home to catch our breath on the freshly cut grass.

By Robert McGee
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

The Practice Of Touch

I imagine my own daughter in Danny’s situation. She is a toddler, so I would be allowed to stay with her if she got COVID. But if she were older, what would I do? What rules would I break to sit beside her?

By Timothy Gallagher
Photography

Tuvalu

Tuvalu is in danger of disappearing due to sea-level rise. The ocean around it is rising about one inch every five years, twice the global average. It’s estimated that an eight- to sixteen-inch increase will be enough to make the country uninhabitable.

Photographs by Forest Woodward