Walking home from work tonight, I was tempted to take off my jacket. It was that warm. I felt thankful for the hint, even if it's more of a tease, that spring is certainly coming. It got me thinking about the things I see every day that delight me and make me feel thankful to live in Israel.
On the train yesterday, I stood across from a young Arab woman wearing skinny jeans and a pale blue hijaab headscarf that wound all around her head and neck. She had a beautiful young face with an extremely heavy application of makeup, more like stage makeup or face paint. I'm no expert, but I understand it's a custom in certain Arab women's circles. There's even a YouTube channel called MakeUpAdikt with videos made by an English-speaking Arab woman on how to apply heavy makeup in this style.
In 2005, during the time of the disengagement from Gush Katif, it was common to see orange ribbons on cars, knapsacks and windows.
We still have one on our rear view mirror. There are rare today, but not wholly absent. On the bus on Tuesday, there was a man in his late-50s. Clearly a hard-working man with a physical job, wearing blue cotton pants, dusty with soot, and a torn blue work shirt. As he stepped off the bus, I noticed that, tied to the handle of his lunchbox, was an orange ribbon. Made me smile to see it in such an incongruous place.
Riding the bus into Jerusalem another morning this week, I looked up from my Tehillim, saw a lone camel on a hill in the distance and marveled at how camels are something of an ordinary site when you live in the Middle East.
|Not the exact camel I saw, but you get the idea.|
|Medjool dates grown in Israel. They may look homely, but they taste like something magical from Gan Eden. And the bracha after eating them refers specifically to the fruits of Israel.|
|Hand-delivered simcha invitations. A uniquely-Israeli custom.|
|Taking the light rail from the bus station to the shuk, shopping at the shuk, taking the light rail back to the bus station and onto a bus home for the same NIS 6.60 fare (about $1.75)|
|The colors, sounds and smells of shopping at the shuk, an experience that never, never, never gets old.|
|My husband faithfully mops the floors every Friday afternoon for Shabbat.|
|The way Israelis encourage one another during tough times.|
|The view into Jerusalem from our mirpeset.|
I only need open my eyes and look up. There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.