I found this as I was surfing other people’s blogs on wordpress. I was incredibly moved by this woman’s poem that I decided to repost the blog and share with you all. I hope you enjoy her words as much as I did.
And I find myself here, in Jerusalem on a super hot and quiet/semi-lonely day. This marks my first Shabbat as a resident of the city, and I miss the desert desperately. With the current heat under way in Israel, all I keep thinking about is my “mauni kietz” or summer pass to the breha/pool. Yom Shabbat (Saturday) was always the popping day, cause all the cool kids and cute boys came out to sit in the sun, drink some vodka, eat popcicles and listen to loud “shoulhim” (trashy, kinda like redneck of the desert) music. Yom Shabbat was the day I’d go and be social, hangout with people my age, work on my tan, flirt, impress them with my ability to sing along and of course eat.
I’m perched on the ledge of the small balcony porch that extends into the city. Its a clear day and I can see for miles out of the city. I live on the fifth floor of a typical Jerusalem apartment building, old and small. But today I am thankful for what this place has given me. Its amazing how you can meet someone and instantly connect, whats even more incredible is the love and hospitality they’re willing give to you after such a short time of knowing you. And this is my friend Jennie and her her lovely boyfriend Pablo. The two of them are letting my stay in their centrally located apartment until I can get my feet on the ground, a favor for which I will be forever grateful.
I met Jennie at one of the many seminars Otzma planned for us, she herself is an Otzma alum and orginally comes from Fon-Du-Lac Wisconsin, funny enough a place close to the pits of my heart and my the existence of my mother’s entire family. Jennie is my age, or maybe a year younger, and we were born within 30 miles apart from each other. We see the world in the same light and have similar issues with Israeli society from our super polite midwest upbringing. The only thing we don’t see eye-to-eye on is that I cheer for the Golden Gophers and she cheers for either the Badgers (homestate loving) or the Wildcats (alumni status). Pablo is from Buenos Aires and speaks English with a cute Spanish lisp. He is stereotypical Argentinian: loves soccer, steak, coffee and can dance. Their house is filled with wonderful books in Spanish and it saddens me that I’ve let my Spanish dissolve. I have half a mind to pick a book up, but right now I’m focusing so hard on Hebrew my brain will be a Spanbrew balegon (mess) if i try to learn two languages simutanenously.
Its now after noon, and the steady stream of people walking down the streets has slowed. Synagogue let out a while ago, and my peering onto people from such heights and observing/enjoying/noticing has transitioned into eating cold leftovers of chicken potpie and some tasty banana bread Jennie baked to go with my morning coffee.
The city is quiet now, but still its not like Yeruham, the air is missing the desert smell and the sun is short some heat. I wonder how long I can go until I’m homesick-homesick for what has become my only family in Israel. Being in Jerusalem is so unreal for me, I’ve become such a Negev worn-in girl. I never thought that the Midwestern girl in me could be satisfied by dry mountains of sand and rocks filled with camels, goats, donkeys and wildflowers. I never thought I would crave a climate opposite of my home, my blood, my path of existence and my core. Yet somehow over the course of the last ten months I have come to grow into a “different type” of Israeli who feels foreign to the center of all Judaism and at home in this place we call the midbar. Yet I comforted to look out my window and see the the Old City, East Jerusalem, Mt. Scopus and know that I’m here, in the center of where it all started and probably where it will all end. So I continue to eat my cold potpie and dream of the desert pool and enjoy my first Shabbat away from my home.