I live in the south, a beautiful kibbutz three kilometers from the border with Gaza.
We have survived another few days of attacks —
People ask me why I live here.
I tell them it’s because this is my home. There are many good reasons for living here: the wonderful community, the support, the way of life, the weather, the work. And there are reasons for not living here: coping with the security situation being one of the most significant. But that reason alone does not tip the balance against all the positives.
People ask me how I’m doing.
And I tell them that I’m okay but that, like everyone else here, I have to be flexible and patient and hopeful and strong and careful and sensible and positive and humble and sensitive and creative and grateful and giving and accepting and energetic — and many other things that I’m not always capable of!
People ask me how I’m feeling.
And I tell them that I’m feeling tired and a little withered and sad and scared and hungry and tense and concerned and happy and protected and nervous and a little crazy — especially a little crazy. But most importantly, I feel that I have to accept myself and those around me who have no choice, but to cope in this crazy situation. Fumbling our way through, figuring it out as we go along, receiving care packages full of love and concern, and developing our own mechanisms for survival built on the experience of others combined with our own individual strengths and abilities.
People ask me what I want.
And I tell them “peace” would be nice. But let’s be realistic, in which case what I want is good leadership — for us and for our neighbours. To be governed by people who really do care about the greater good, are honest and trustworthy. But let’s be even more realistic. What I really want is to be able to sit outside with a friend and share a cup of hot tea without the fear of an onslaught of rockets.
People ask me what they can do to help.
And I tell them to listen — to listen to our stories and to retell them, to take an interest in our lives without judging us and to show their concern for us. To visit, to encourage, to support, and basically to “be” with us. To send us their love, their thoughts and prayers each and every time we are at the receiving end of a barrage of rockets. We need to soften the blows and people need to help reinforce our emotional muscles which take a constant beating
The day will come when we’ll look back at this time in our lives, able to finally talk about it in the past tense. We’ll be nostalgic, share some funny stories, reflect and laugh, while at the same time recognizing and accepting the difficulties and challenges we faced. But for now, today, please keep asking — I’ll continue to answer.