Posted by: fullandbye | April 14, 2009

Israel

My dad and stepmom left yesterday night, leaving me today and tomorrow afternoon to spend with my grandparents and aunts and uncles here on the kibbutz.

This has been a really pleasant visit and I am very glad I came. On the one hand I am missing home something fierce (but I better get used to it) but on the other hand I am having a wonderful time here and always feel this draw towards moving here whenever I come and visit. I like my family in Seattle (all my mom’s side) but I never really understand how it is that I am related to them. My dad’s side though…different story entirely. They are gregarious, rude, bawdy, profane, intense and hilarious. I love them. Of course, my grandparents are a little more genteel, but even they have a certain earthiness abou them.

Went kayaking on the hatzbani river today with my cousin and it was beautiful. Afternoon was spent with my grandparents as they went about their domesticities. They have finished watching their 20:00 news broadcast and are now watching a documentary on the songwriters of the early state (the music is all stuff I recognize from road trips when I was a kid). While they are watching and singing together, my grandfather is cracking pecans with the most wonderful nutcracker and my grandmother is using a tool (my grandfather’s design) to pull the meat from the cracked nuts and put it in a container. Why are they doing this? Because every morning they mix bits of nuts in with their morning yogurt. It is so adorable.

The three large cities of Israel are more intense than all but a handful of American cities, but here in the upper galilee kibbutz time is slow time (so long as there is not a war going on). During the summer everything is roasted by the blistering heat, but right now things are still green and lush and beautiful. Imagine the shire, but with hairier, more semitic hobbits. I can’t describe it exactly but it is peaceful and beautiful and the people are warm in a very forthright sort of way and the food is simple and wonderful and wildflowers are everywhere and goats wander about.

I have some big sentimental thoughts on the trajectory that lives take and decisions made for us in childhood, but these will merit their own post at some point if I feel up to it. Suffice it to say that I will miss my grandparents, that I am very grateful to have spent the past three weeks with them, and that I hope to return here soon. Maybe in the middle of PC service I will come here and rendezvous with my family. That would be nice. Anyone want to meet me here sometime 2010 or 2011? We could road trip around the country and go hiking! We could eat olives and spit the pits on the ground! We could have hilarious conversations with Druze shopkeepers and go to museums and enjoy ourselves.

Because tomorrow is a holiday (last day of Pesach) the trains start running too late to get me to the airport in time so I will be taking a series of buses: Kiryat Shemonah—>Tel Aviv Merkazit—>Tzomet El Al—>Ben Gurion Airport before boarding Delta 87 Tel Aviv to New York JFK at 00:40 4/16/09.

Love to all.


Responses

  1. Aw man, I should have routed my flight tonight through JFK so I could tackle you in the airport. Alas.
    If you visit Israel in the middle of your PC service I would love love love to go adventuring and hang out on the kibbutz with you. That would be amazing.

  2. man the kibbutz sounds amazing. i would love to go there some day.

  3. I got your postcard today, it’s lovely…. and lovelier still, you’ll be home soon ❤
    I want to meet up in Israel in 2010 or 11.

  4. I’ve got an Israeli friend I need to visit and have long hankered to get a taste of the terre sainte. So I’d be totally up for trailing you around kibbitzim (sp?) and trekking around the countryside if I was free and able to at the time.

  5. I want to come! 2010 baby.


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