Friday, July 28, 2017

this is galilee

As the golden hour-almost-sun-set light hits 35W, Ed Sheeran's Castle on a Hill is playing—fittingly—and I speed down it faster than I ever did coming back from play practice late at night. Israel has really done a number on my defensive driving skills—now I am the driver my mother warned me about. Coming home feels like a long time coming: perhaps it's been longer than since January.

My jaw drops as I drive into the sun, the trees on either side of the highway over sloping hills tricking me—for a second—of thinking I am driving the little white Toyota Corolla (like the one I just passed) I drove from 77 down to the end of 90. Who knew that the Northern woods of Wisconsin and Minnesota look so much like the Holy Land?

I blink. Trying to erase the feeling of déjà vu from my eyes and clear my imagination of such foolish, fanciful impressions.

But, as I drive down 169, I suddenly feel like I am driving down 65, and as I drive over the flat reeds and past the trees shaking gently in the humid winds, I remember that last small stretch of road I would always hit at this time of day, returning to Ilaniya, after a day of hiking, swimming, or wearing out my sandals. Their appearance is undeniably alike. I have always held home as holy, so no surprise there that it bears such resemblance to the sacred. But it is silly to travel to the heart of the world, and realize upon your return to your own little native corner that what you went to see was always with you: that the woods where you went on your first runs in high school are just like those that surround the village, simply surrounded by fewer IDF bases. It makes one feel like a fool to travel so far into the foreign and find that it really is just familiar.

How did I never notice then, how much like home it was?

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