October 7th. January 7th. This week marked three long months since the horrors of this war started.
You might have noticed it has been difficult for us Israelis to focus. Sometimes to breathe. We are exhausted and worried, but we are also determined. We know our little country is fighting for the very freedom of our worlds. For what Israel and the US hold dear. For our futures.
In that spirit, allow me to use this space to remind us of the things we loved before that hateful horrendous day three months ago. Before we knew what humans in our own time are capable of. The hatred that led to unspeakable atrocities towards innocent others.
We believed, and we still do, in sunshine. In the red flowers that cover the very fields that Hamas watered with the blood of innocents. How chilling. Anemones – in Hebrew they take on the beautiful name “kalanit” – with vibrant large petals creating a carpet of beautiful red.
Kalanit comes from the Hebrew word “kala – כלה” which means “bride.” The kalanit earned its name because of its beauty and majesty, evoking a bride on her wedding day. And one of its identifiers is a halo of white surrounding its center.
There is a festival here, another kind of nature festival, called “Darom Adom” – Red-South. Israel’s southern fields are overrun with the beauty of nature, of these kalanit flowers, for a special sunshine-y month of winter. Craving the outdoors, Israelis flock to this festival, riding bikes through the carpeted forests, wandering with strollers, holding hands as lovers or parents. The innocence of a flower captures our collective imagination and takes us to a higher essence.
These fields will probably lie barren this year, our spirits certainly are. We pray for comfort, then hope, and inspiration, for the years to come, for our beautiful flowering kalanit fields to replace the pain and the blood that was spilled.