It’s Corona day something; I don’t have a count. It just started and already seems like forever. I’m taking a walk into the Carmel park; it’s a glorious spring day before the next storm, before the next ‘don’t go anywhere’ restrictions. The rolling mountains stretch into the horizon in multi-shades of green; the Mediterranean sparkles in silver down below and right here, there are so many wildflowers bursting about, I can’t stop help but take one more, just one more picture. I want to wave my hair and run freely, skipping among the brownish rocks, wow, what a sight!
Once upon a time, I wanted to go to the Alps, maybe this summer, or next, or…. It’s told that Rav Hirsch said that when he’ll arrive in the World to Come, G-d will ask him, I put the Alps there for you! Why did you not go to see them?? So he did. And I wanted to see the Alps too; Rav Hirsch’s Alps. But now I wonder if these are my Alps, right here, in the Carmel’s “Little Switzerland”.
“Where is the farthest place in the world”? Asked my uncle in one of our many geography games, in a family picnic site just up the road. “This tree”, jumped little chutzpadik me, pointing to the tall pine next to us, having just figured out why the horizon line is round, “because you’ll have to go all the way around the world to reach it”, ha ha ha.
Haifa people are obedient, self-disciplined, well-behaved. In these early – I’m afraid early – Corona days, the few of us on the trail pass each other, 6 feet apart, barely nodding, each busy in their own thoughts, some chatting with a trusted friend, most looking away. And then, this gentleman passes me, mouthing, ‘good morning’, in English, and I think, America! Will I ever get to see you again? What will you look like after this? Or am I overdoing it, I’m definitely overdoing this, and it’s just a little bump on the road, ‘no worries, by summer it will all be ok’?
On the way back, a suitcase, in not too bad of a shape, is tossed by a garbage can. I am wondering the same about my own: Toss? Keep? What for? Will we ever travel again like we did just a couple of months ago? Will we live to tell of those good-old days when the greatest troubles in the airport were long lines of happy world-wide travelers and the need to take off our shoes? Or will, one day, some aliens find remnants of airplanes, a wing, a seat, a tight toilet, a strange dinner tray, and say in great wonderment, ‘metal birds? What kind of culture lived here? Did they even do anything at all? Oh, they kept it all on a cloud!!?
But I’m working on a 1000-piece puzzle of Half Dome and El-Capitan, with a bright blue sky and dozens of trees clustering around Mirror Lake, where hikers walk and skip and scream as they dip their toes and take funny pictures and camp under a blanket of stars. When the aliens come, they’ll say, ‘a strange priestess must have lived here, for how could she see sights from the other side of the world, a place no one can reach from here by foot and there’s a great ocean in between’! And they’ll examine the pieces carefully and see, they’re all glued together with tears.