China on my mind

Years ago I lived in Georgia– Fort Benning, to be exact– Sigerfoos Road, to be more exact. It was a very beautiful place with tall, lush trees and green green grass. The summers were hot and moist. Thunderstorms were frequent and heavy with the roads populated by puddles the size of swimming pools. One Friday night on the way home from the chapel, I got so wet, I was afraid I would be arrested for indecent exposure.

But all that rain made Georgia beautiful, green, full of flowers and trees. But despite that, it didn’t really “keep Georgia on my mind.” When we moved away, it became a very lovely memory.

What was on my mind then, on my mind from the time I was about 12, was Israel and my longing to live here. At 12, it was only a vague dream. It was like wanting to go to the moon long before there were moon landings. The possibility was remote, unattainable.

When I married and my husband’s plans were to retire in Israel, it still seemed remote. When you are 20, twenty years in the future might as well be eternity. But Israel “was always on my mind.”

Wel, the dream came true and I have been living here for the last 11 years and every day I am grateful to be here. We may not get the rain we got in Georgia, but the land is green and fruitful and blossoming. What’s more, here, even rain is a blessing. I am where I need to be. I am content.

However, there is another place that has a special place in my heart. We have traveled a bit in the last few years and enjoyed every trip, but for me, China is the most magnificent place to visit. It probably has to do with the beauty of the countryside, the temples and gardens, the karst mountains and rock formations, the picuresque rice fields, the little villages on the water, and the haunting music and dance. I think that what captivates me the most is the Chinese people. They are friendly, happy people. They are warm and helpful, whether they are service personnel or whether they are people on the street. They smile and seem to enjoy life. They are beautiful. I suppose, in a way, I have fallen in love.

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