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No Need to Go Far

Several years ago, Melody Warnick wrote This is Where You Belong, a book urging readers to slow down and appreciate their lives right where they are. According to Warnick, your life isn’t waiting to begin in a distant city or a rural hamlet. Discover what makes your community, neighborhood, or city interesting. You might be surprised by what you find.

At a mass celebrating this past feast day of St. Augustine, the presider, a veteran Jesuit priest, encouraged my fellow congregants and me to tone down the constant buzzing of news, information, minutiae, anxieties, and worries in our minds. Only then might we begin to glimpse at the purpose and wonder of our lives.

Both Warnick’s book and the priest’s homily deliver the same message: focus on the life of today and the experiences it offers.

On Labor Day weekend, I visited the Jersey City Reservoir. This small preserve was an active reservoir until it was decommissioned in the 1990s. Nature slowly reclaimed the land.

Reservoir 1

View from the shore of the Jersey City Reservoir, Jersey City, NJ. (Photograph by author)

Today, flower, fauna, fish, and waterfowl thrive in this 13-acre semi-wild space. Residents walk through its roughly cut trails and fish in its waters. The Reservoir sits a block from my wife’s and my house. I often forget it is there.

Reservoir 2

Yes, this is Jersey City, NJ. (Photography by author)

Passing through the gates of the Reservoir, I escaped the bustle of the city. Gazing at the wildlife and the water silenced my incessant thoughts. I didn’t need to travel great distances to an exotic locale to savor a moment of peace.

It was right where I live. Where I belong right now.


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