I’m being nostalgic again…But this time, I have a good reason: My dad is visiting!
It’s a shame both of my parents couldn’t come, but having Aba around for a bit makes Israel feels like Israel. Hopefully, I’ll reunite with my mom and sister not too far into the future.
Since we all moved to the States my parents visited more often than I did, in fact, I haven’t visited at all. My visit was to the hospital, seeing my dear Savta there, it was a very sad visit for me so I don’t like to consider it.
One time when they visited during the winter I was supposed to join them, but I stayed in the cold New Jersey for “Ideological” reasons. Or so I convinced myself. My second semester at this college I got myself into was about to begin, so I tried to fit in with the cool American spirit. I thought that maybe putting the past behind will make it easier for me to adjust this bizarre new place. A liberal place that isn’t very fond of Israel. For Justify reasons.
Only later on I realized that it is much harder to contempt Israel when it is not only the devil to you but so much Love as well.
Anyhow, I had an exciting unknown future ahead of me, new things to experience, new people to like, and be liked by, and much English to deal with. My greatest fear was going back and forgetting anything that ever happened to me outside of Israel, as well as my English, or worse, my new sense of justice.
I was busy.
After traveling to Asia and back to Upstate New York, learning Japanese, having to write essays that made me so very upset about my writing skills, becoming sick of snow, I eventually graduated. Imidiattley after, A void was created. A painful space that could only be filled with Hebrew songs, familiar faces and a flight to the most cursed place on this planet.
I have been here for about five months now. I was moving around, north to south, even the West Bank, and currently, I rarely leave Jerusalem. But I have been avoiding the places I spent the biggest chunks of my life at.
And so, a day after Aba landed I excluded myself from my Jerusalem routine and went with him on a trip back to some small unknown places that made up my entire world up until not too long ago.
on Saturday morning, we took a walk to my elementary school
We continued down the road I usually took back home.
This small green area here is a wild plant filed. It’s an area nobody cares for, but as a kid, I’ve always found it to be the loveliest corner. Packed with fresh messy plants, snails, nice smells.
During winter I used to stop by and look for those yellow flowers I like to eat.
These ones! Love them. Sour taste. My mom always told me to go and wash them before I eat them.
Next to my beloved filed there is more field, but the other side of this fence is the West Bank. The sign tells you it’s an electric fence and you shouldn’t touch it. Indeed, people didn’t want me to go near it. But I did, and one day I even touched it. But nothing happened and I stayed alive.
In all of my 13 years in Matan, I never realized what this fence was, what’s on the other side, and what it meant. I heard it was dangerous there, that the fence should be there for the good. But mostly as I looked through it I saw nothing but another lovely field.
Sometimes I saw a man, or a boy, with a herd of sheep. It was a magical sight and I would stare. I remember one time a boy stared back. But again, nothing. Maybe my memory just didn’t mark the fence as anything significant, it was just a border, the end of my village.
Maybe for my 7 years old self the world was odd as it was, with or without a fence.
Very close to our house
My years at the Kibbutz were few, maybe 3. But somehow they stuck to me and I remember them to the smallest details.
This Bomb shelter was right next to the playground. We were using it as a slide, sliding from the top into the bushes. It was always open. No door. Inside, there was a stairway down, to under the earth. We played who dares going down the stairs alone in the dark. It was so dark.
Why was this jokey room there looking like this? Grownups said for lectures. Indeed, they used to have some lectures there. As a kid, I couldn’t understand why would people want to gather down there for anything.
I don’t remember many fences or doors at the Kibbutz. I recall walking around to pretty much anywhere I wanted. With or without adults. There was a strong sense of freedom I had there being able to just run around.
I did not grow up in a big town, which I am very thankful for sometimes. Nature is great.