Thursday, January 30, 2014
This bold fellow, which I believe to be a hooded crow, was keeping its predatory watch on a public park in West Jerusalem. I have always wanted to get some bird pictures, but the birds themselves are quite uninterested in keeping still enough long enough to be photographed.
Except this fellow.
On one of my last days here, I was taking full advantage of the opportunity to get close enough for a decent picture of this fellow when I heard "Hello?" Hello!" from somewhere nearby. I paid no attention, as, being an international, I am aware that people aren't usually trying to get my attention, but someone else's.
A security guard was waving at me, calling out, trying to tell me, as it turns out, that no pictures were to be taken there. I pointed at the crow, then realized, as I did so, that the US Consulate was right across the street and that I had been unknowingly taking pictures in that direction.
I put away the camera.
On the day after tomorrow, we leave early for the Ben Gurion airport, to fly to Toronto. These days are filled with goodbyes and last-time realizations. There are the people we have encountered here, some of whom have become lasting friends. There is the little shop across the street from the hotel that serves fresh baked-on-site goodies and fine coffee every morning. There are the churches we have worshipped in, and the walks we have taken (once on the ramparts of the Old City), and a host of little things like the bold crow on the fence, afternoon tea, lemonade with mint.
I have mixed feelings, very much, about this. Three months has been a long time, and it is time to return home. But we are not sure if we will ever return here--at our age and on a retirement income, this stay may well be It. Of course, we are not eager to return to daytime temperatures of minus 17 Celsius and a half metre of snow on the ground. Jerusalem today hit 20 degrees Celsius (yes, you read that right), with of course no snow (or rain, either, and that Is a concern here, even if we like the sunshine).
So, we are nearly ready to return, to whatever awaits us back home. Certainly exhaustion, jet lag, disorientation, probably fragile sleep, will be the first things. They'll pass. But how we feel about this troubled, strangely beautiful land will stay with us for a long time to come.
Posted by Peter at 10:36 AM