Hope vs. Mother Nature…the First Inning


I stand at the plate, confident that I will get a hit. She looks at me with silent brooding eyes and glances at the score board; MN 6087, NP .02… I too look towards that vast set of numbers in the sky but as always, Hope springs eternal. Thank goodness That small Virtue was at the bottom of Pandora’s Box.


Mother Nature  stares me down,


winds up and let’s loose a curveball not seen in the past 100 years. I’m sure at first I will get beaned in the head then see the arc of the ball curving towards the center of the plate and the sphere speeding up ??? How does She do that ???

Too late to make any form of contact I swing wildly and fall flat on my face in the dirt. An iridescent, translucent catcher laughs and lobs the ball back to her and we begin again…

Strike One…

She put me in my place last year at the end of my ride but I had the audacity to take her on again only to have my face shoved in the dirt by something new…Covid-19, a player without even a proper name.

One like this has popped up several times before, with each appearance wreaking havoc on the landscape. The last we saw was 100 years ago…that one actually brought my genes to this distant shore in America, the land of Hope.  Many in my family in Italy died in the Great Pandemic of 1918-1919 and some of those left alive, with nothing to loose, arrived at Ellis Island to start a new life.images-2




As I slowly get myself up from the dirt… having busted my lip on homeplate…

imagesI think back to the tenacity of my forbearers who survived and started again with nothing but the clothes on their backs and Hope holding their scrawny hands.





I dust myself off and stand back from the plate…I look towards the pitcher’s mound and stare Her down..

“OK, Mother Nature, I’m still here, show me your best…”

Back in the real world I have indeed taken measure of “Strike One”…yes my ride was canceled but I am still here with my health.

I look around at what I can do…first I give blood, one of my least favorite things to do…actually to be totally honest, the first thing I did was buy toilet paper…I am a “Guy” after all…Angel popped up out of nowhere expecting to help on a ride but instead carried 4876 rolls of TP to the trunk of my car…4873 are still there…

While giving blood, the woman on the table next to me suffered a grand mal seizure so I was of use there from the start helping with an unexpected occurence…she was diabetic and her sugar had dropped preciptiously…no breakfast and a malfunctioning insulin pump…all turned out well…

As I drove home, having been leeched of 90% of my blood,


I pondered whether or not I should get back to practicing medicine to help. Two large problems stood in my way…by definition I was in a high risk group by age for Covid-19 complications, and there was the risk of bringing the virus home.

I brooded for days about what to do…

Mother Nature waited patiently adding layer after layer of rosin to the ball…no one ever said She plays fair.

I thought about going to New York, or Chicago to help but what was I supposed to do there? I had not practiced ICU Medicine for 10 years, shifting my practice to all outpatient. And besides, there were no magic bullets for this virus despite what politicians blasted out each day from their re-election podiums…the irony was that the touted magic pill was one I was an expert in having used it in my practice every day for 40 years…I had serious doubts about it from day one of this Ball Game.

I stand back from the plate and size up the situation…Strike One…She’s good, but I am, if nothing else molded of tenacity…remember my family and my “Buns of Steel”…


Ok, what can I do to help? …It suddenly dawns on me that I can help as a Telemedicine MD back at my old clinic; I can triage patients, allay some fear, and try to protect those on the front lines a bit. They welcome me with open arms. Hope and I find our place.

As I come to the plate with the count against me I look back at the dugout to see one on my team struggling. Of all things she has been stricken with MS in the middle of this Pandemic. I call a time out to the Ump and walk over to get the details. Mother Nature waits patiently adding another layer of rosin.

With an even more serious frown on my face I slowly walk back to the plate. ” Ok, what now?”

To myself…” Well you were to ride 2000 miles this year from Florida to Maine to help the MS cause…why not just ride here at home before you go off to work?”

And so before I reached the plate I had set up a 3000 mile 5 month ride …donors have come pouring out of the woodwork to help lessen the burden of those in need. I suspect Hope had something to do with all that…but I did  notice she was not around when I was eating dirt at home plate.

So now I stand ready eye to eye with Mother Nature waiting for … a curveball? a brushback?, a fastball?, a sinker?, a spitter?…who knows… but I am determined to get a hit…somehow…

As I wait for the pitch She calls a time out. She turns to her left and points and smiles…there in the far distance I gasp at something not seen in 30 years…the Himalayas from the Ganges Valley.


Covid-19 has temporarily cleared the Earth of pollution.

That scene has been repeated throughout the World time and time again over the past few weeks. Is there maddness to Her methods with all that Rosin on the ball?

It is not for me to say…I am just a lowly peon in this game…but with grace pushed to the forefront by Angel who lives deep inside me I smile back at Her. Our truce lasts a split second as she begins her wicked, hidden windup…

Hope stands by me now…


I’m tempted to shut my eyes at the speeding ball aimed at my head…but no…I am still in this game…


PS. I am painting at night and on weekends. I have included a manuscript I just finished…I think the text was born from Hope’s Soul.

Please read it.

This was done in goauche paint applied to Italian parchment with steel nibs.



PPS. The Easter Bunny made me paint this one today.


PPPS  Stay safe in these troubling times…

8 thoughts on “Hope vs. Mother Nature…the First Inning

  1. lovely!!

    On Fri, Apr 10, 2020 at 8:39 PM Time Travelling with a Guardian Angel wrote:

    > Nick Patrone posted: “4/10/20 I stand at the plate, confident that I will > get a hit. She looks at me with silent brooding eyes and glances at the > score board; MN 6087, NP .02… I too look towards that vast set of numbers > in the sky but as always, Hope springs eternal. Thank ” >


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