Friday, July 17, 2009

Second Morning in Jerusalem

There is something beautiful and calming about the early morning. Those precious hours where the coolness of the night still lingers and the soft sunlight gives the Jerusalem stone of the buildings a rosy golden hue. I wish I could distinguish between the different bird calls I hear. Most people, including my roommate, still lay asleep in their beds, recovering from the joyful night before. A few men in rush to shul, prayer shawls in hand.

I've always loved the morning- whether it be the pristine snow-covered winter wonderland in Wisconsin, a moment of footprint-less white and glistening tree branches- or waking from a tent on one of our many family camping trips as a child, the previous night's fire ashen, the dew bringing sweetness to the air.

And now- morning in Jerusalem. A moment of sacred tranquility to comfort me before I set off into the vaguely familiar setting of my new life. Even with my experience of plopping down in a myriad of different countries and the remarkably efficient way Israel processes and welcomes newcomers, I am slightly overwhelmed with the transition I have undertaken for myself- but I'm still anxious to start picking away at the challenges- new language, new norms, new rhythms- and I am awed by the determination of the Immigrant- be he from Ireland going to the United States, or the Russian Jews who found their way to Shanghai, and all the billions of wandering humans, pushing, searching, stretching, reforming, redefining their limits, their lives and ultimately, their new communities.

I'm still overwhelmed with my own STUFF, even though I managed to tuck it all away in drawers and cubbies. Creature comforts in excess...

My goal today is simple. Go to the shook (market) and wander amongst the many people shopping in preparation for Shabbat. Simply to go, to watch, to enjoy. And to find a few fruit treasures of my own to take back with me. Maybe I'll also find a chance before sunset to wade through some of the paperwork and try to sketch out a budget for myself. Maybe I'll find the perfect mug for tea to accompany me on this beautiful patio for the many mornings to come...

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