The hottest August in the last 100 years hit Israel, the longest unending summer and the first rains meant to fall in October held back until late November.
Israelis dreamed of rain in their sleep. Sang of it, set forth prayers for rain from hearts and synagogues and from helium balloons carrying rabbis considered influental with the Lord.
Gale Sahara winds scorched the beloved green mountains of our ancient Carmel Mountain and we were suddenly set aflame. Within several days, an unprecedented forest fire destroyed one third of the Carmel's beautiful and variegated trees, brush and other vegetation. Forty four fire fighters died and countless forest creatures lost their lives. Towering flames were battled by fire fighting planes rushed to Israel from all over the world. Black smoke filled the northern skies.
While the country was still reeling in shock, Sahara winds turned into freezing gales and rain, flooding the northern settlements and hitting Jerusalem with cold fury.
Today the sun is shining. We lick our wounds and look forward to more happy events.
My first granddaughter's Bat Mitzvah.
The great bi-annual bird migration over Israel.
This poem appears in my new book, "Tales of Love and Ezile".
Against the backdrop of azure sky, in arrow formation
migrating storks return to kibbutz skies.
Sabbath Eve twilight tints
their long-legged embrace of the great palms,
wave after wave - a gentle invasion of the great tree limbs,
they alight on the palm grove branches
bordering the fish ponds and the green lawns.
A klackity-klack chorus,
their slender beaks declare the day's adventures,
tell of long flights from Northern Lands,
and set up a racket welcomed in every kibbutz bungalow.
And if you fly silent among them, I am told,
they will turn their noble heads to you
and gaze hello.
(C) Shira Twersky-Cassel