It’s day 35 of our lockdown. We found a way to get through it. About 3 kilometers away, there is a huge mountain, Givat HaMo’re. It has a labyrinth of paths, all different.
Even though it’s February, we have a small opening. For the next few days, it will be springtime weather. Shula and I promise each other to take our children hiking every day we can for the next two weeks. After all, they get up at 6:30AM on schooldays, why should this be any different?
It’s a lockdown, not an extended vacation.
They agree, but in principle. It’s one thing to accept that they should technically be waking up as if school were open — because they are phone learning and that kind of means school is open. However, it’s an entirely different matter when it’s lights out at 8PM sharp.
Everybody is up by 6:30 the next morning. There are a few groans here and there, but by 6:51, we are in the car. We get to the top of the mountain and disembark about 100 meters from the top.
I can see the entire city of Afula, surrounded by carpets of green grass all around. On top of us stands the moon. The first hour or two of light, you can see both the moon and the sun. Far off, at the foot of the Mount Gilboa range, there is a thick layer of fog covering some fields.
I take it all in with a hearty deep breath.
We start walking. Past the forest, through an Arab village, and out to the side of the mountain.
A strong wind starts to blow.
My wife is a tough woman. She wants all of us to grow up tough.
Following her lead, we charge the wind. Every step takes the energy of three as a cold blast pushes against our faces.
The kids don’t want to let mommy down. Without so much as a whimper, they push forward.
I am filled with emotion. Replete with energy.
My insides are also brimming with something else. I have to relieve myself.
“Honey, you guys go ahead a little. I need to make a pit stop.”
I start to do my business when our mission commander sounds the alarm.
“Cease fire! David, cease fire!”
Biting my lip, I hear another order from headquarters.
“About face! Now!”
“At least turn the kids away!”
“They are up the hill, you turn around.”
Now, my wife, three Arab shepherds, and about 50 sheep can see my, ahem, inner self.
Trying her best to keep from laughing, she mutters, “As you were, honey.”
The release. The relief.
Shula is smiling, trying not to laugh.
I ask her, “What was that all about? Why all the show?”
Her face hardens. Her eyes turn to daggers.
I am relieved. At this moment, I am fully dressed.
“You were about to do your business against the wind. A strong wind David. I’m glad you listened to me. If you didn’t, I wouldn’t be the one cleaning that mess.”
David Ben Horin lives in Afula with his wife and children. Since moving to Israel in 2002, David has discovered writing hi-tech, hiking, coding ReactJS, religion, and hearing stories about the Land of Israel from anyone excited to tell them. He is the developer and content writer for Highway 60. Email him your favorite story at firstname.lastname@example.org.