When It Rains
These days, I find myself learning how to let go of searching for all the answers. They say that all we know is how little we know. I couldn't agree more. The last month or so has provided me with little to no rhyme or reason for why things happen. And like so many things in life, when it rains it pours..
Where shall I begin.. last month started off in a beautiful way. My cousin got married to the love of her life, and the wedding was just as gorgeous as the bride and groom. My mom arrived for the festivities and I was as happy as a clam to see her. Days before the ceremony, we checked the weather to make sure that rain wouldn't spoil her special day. Luckily, the storm held off till right after the guests left, literally and figuratively.
The rains began, and with them came war. This time, it was rockets falling from the sky. I prayed each day that they would turn to water, and held my breath. The days began to blur with sleepless nights, running into shelters, hearing bombs go off in the air, seeing explosions in the sky like fireworks.. feeling the constant dread of hearing another ghostly siren blast in the distance.
Perhaps the worst part of the war wasn't the sense of fear and insecurity. It wasn't the feeling of being exposed in the middle of traffic knowing that something could fall from the sky. It wasn't the rocket that hit an apartment building in front of the school I volunteer at, or the terrorist bombing in the city. It was seeing my students go through it all. Weeks before the war, we observed Yitzhak Rabin's memorial day at school. He was a man who fought for the peace process, who stood behind change. It struck me that these kids weren't even born when he was assassinated, and it was such a significant memory for me when he died. It hit me harder when I realized that the same peace talks he attempted to begin were still frozen to this day.. 17 years later. I wondered if times were changing, or if history was just repeating itself like seasons in the year.
As the rockets fell like rain from the sky, I realized that it was also their first time experiencing such a war in their back yards. It wasn't since the Gulf War with Iraq, that people in central Israel experienced life in shelters (something that those in the south unfortunately experience daily). I hated it all. The biased propaganda on the news, the crooked politicians, the feeling that I didn't want to leave home. But there was nothing harder than holding my kids, shaking and crying in my arms.. knowing that these memories would be implanted in them forever. They will always be effected by this experience; their sense of the world, of good and bad, of safety and security.
A day after the cease fire, I traveled north to stay on a quiet kibbutz to recoup. But my run down body became sick, which is to be expected I suppose. That wasn't even the half of it. When I returned home, we received the news that my cousins wife was on her last day. She was only 34, and had battled cancer for nearly two years.
Weeks before, I sat with her in their living room. It was a night before her birthday, and a monsoon-like storm was coming through. We brought her pastries and flowers, and spoke of politics, love, and the weather. Her nearly four year old son sat and held her frail hand in an all-knowing yogi like way that only a child could do. He then began jumping excitedly on the couch when the thunder came rolling in. We all laughed. I prayed every day for a miracle, but perhaps the only miracle she needed was to let go. A week before she died, her mother in law said, 'sometimes it's also hard to die'. This was no exception. She had so much love to give, so many more memories to make. I hope that her energy rains down love on those she left behind.
Two days after she passed, my moms uncle died. Although he was an old man, I was certainly sad. He carried so many hardships throughout his life, and experienced things that a hundred men alike wouldn't be able to withstand. Thanks to the search he began for living family members at the end of The Holocaust in World War II, my grandparents were able to find each other. Perhaps because of him, I am here in a way. His funeral was a bit more conventional, I suppose. Rather than seeing the old bury the young as I saw in such a gut-wrenching way the previous days, it was the other way around. The way mother nature intended..
These days, I find myself thankful for the rain. I feel like I'm slowly letting go of the quest for all the answers in the world. I don't know why there's war, or why people die. Lord knows I pray it won't be this way. Maybe instead of the end of the world, we will see the beginning of a world we could only imagine. All I know is that sometimes it takes a bit of water from the sky to make things green.
Wishing you love and light during this holiday season,
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