Sunday, October 23, 2011

Remembrance

*I have no idea why I decided to write this, but after sharing it with a friend, she suggested I post it here - so here it is:

Most days, I think that I've forgotten more than I remember, but for some reason, an extraordinary moment popped into my head, so I thought I'd share...

In Israel, for my brother's wedding.  We took the wedding party to climb Masada - this must be done at 2am, during the still, cool, in-between time of the desert before the sun rises and bakes everything to death.  You want to be up that Snake Path in time to witness the heart-stopping glory of the Sun rising over that parched, tan sand, explore the ruins, have an experience, and be back down before noon, seeking shelter from the brutal afternoon heat.  When we see people attempting to ascend on our way down, we warn them back, and send them to the cable cars - tell them the secret to this journey, tell them to try again tomorrow.  I have made this climb many times since the first, when I was 8 in 1977.  This time...this time, a fence had been erected blocking our entrance to the site.  My father the paratrooper, my father the Israeli war veteran, one of the first of those who entered the Old City of Jerusalem on that day back in '67 and gave us back our Wall, while my mother waited back on the kibbutz with their newborn son who, all these years later, had just been married - didn't miss a beat; he tore a hole in the fence with his bare hands so we could get through.  When the tanks pulled up and found us standing there, half of our group (the bride's family) standing terrified on the 'outside', not knowing what to do, and into what kind of crazy family they had just married their daughter, and our people, on the 'inside', knowing full well that when those tanks reached us, we wanted to be behind my dad.  There was a heated debate, most of which I didn't understand, at the end of which, the tanks pulled away, sheepishly saluting my fierce and fuming father, and apologizing for having interrupted his sacred journey.  And up we went.  The pace was slow, as we were so many, and some were old, and I grew more and more impatient as the sky lightened in the East.  So I ran.  I ran the rest of the way up the wild twists and turns of the Snake Path, and found myself alone on top of that mountain.  I sat on a rock, facing the direction of the soon-to-be rising sun, pulled out and assembled my silver flute, that I had chosen to carry with me on that day.  And I played.  I played what my soul moved me to - Hatikva, the Israeli national anthem.  As it echoed out across the valley, low and sweet, I felt the stir deep, deeper, deepest in my soul, and I watched that magnificent orange globe peek itself over the horizon, and rise to my song.  And as the last notes faded over the flat top of this monument to the strength of my people, my father appeared at the top of the trail, his eyes bright with feeling and wonder, looking to me and saying, "that was beautiful!"  I was shocked.  It hadn't occurred to me that anyone else was hearing me play - the moment had felt so private.  But my dad said it had echoed all the way down the trail, and had pulled him forward to see who was playing - and it was me.  He was blown away.  I was a bit embarrassed, but also immensely proud.  And here we were, father and daughter, loving each other through this experience, and having shared something so tender, so...private and fragile, that I will never forget it, and will honor this memory all the days of my life.  It's almost 13 years now since my father passed on, but he lives every day in my heart, in my soul, in that song - and in our moment together, on that mountain.  Selah ~



3 comments:

  1. MS vis fb:

    "nice memory to cherish."

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm listening to this video after having read your beautiful story and I am touched, as I always am, at this song with tears streaming down my face. I too have a family remembrance one of my son, Joey singing this song while in the 1st grade. He taught taught it to me and we sang it together often times.
    I love your story and your memory!

    ReplyDelete

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