Thursday, November 17, 2011


It's cold outside.  Though I know it will get much colder before it warms up again.  Sitting alone at midnight, my mind drifts to a toasty summer's day...

It was one of those mornings that a working parent dreams of fashioning but rarely finds time for.  I was up before the sun and packed breakfast, plenty of water, and a pair of gardening gloves for our hike.

Quietly, so as not to disturb the boys, I woke my 7 year-old daughter and we made for the hills.  Literally, we have hills all around us.  The drive took less than two minutes.

Nahal Amud.  Nahal Meron.  Two river valleys come together at the most perfect spot in all of Israel.  I fell in love with this corner of the world when I was 18 and it influenced our move to the Merom Hagalil region last year.  Hitchhiked up here with a bunch of scruffy yeshiva boys from a small settlement near Jerusalem; my then-future husband among them, and being my reason for joining in.  It was late February and we camped in the open around a fire.  Fun, but cold.

Not at all like this day with my sweet Teneya.  The sun was bright as we hiked to the blackberry patches.  The beautiful branches are deceptive and tore at our clothes and skin.  We didn't care--the berries were too tempting.  I took a thick glove from my bag and gave her the other as we reached for more and more.  Laughing, eating, running from bees.  This is the stuff memories are made of.

It was 7:30 and our stomachs were feeling quite pleased with themselves.  We even picked extra to bring home and share.  I quickly cleaned up, changed clothes, and made it work by 8:30.  Success!

The rain is still splattering on the windows.  The heater kicks in with its gentle humming.  Everyone is asleep except my 5 year-old son's latest pet, a beetle.  Oh wait, it's dead., everyone's asleep.  But the smiles and sweetness of that day are still so vivid that my heart is warm and I don't feel alone.  I wonder if Teneya still thinks about that day too.