So here we are, Raph & I, two months and ten days later, back in HLC (Holy Land Central) after being in the U.S. for a very L-O-N-G summer.
1) It's bloody hot here. Muggy hot. A drip of sweat constantly down the small of the back hot. But I adore the heat. So no problem there.
2) After the polished & gleaming finish of every exterior in the U.S., things here appear dusty, dirty, loosely thrown together. Over coffee today, friends remarked that perhaps that very looseness contributed to tactical military mistakes during this summer's war
3) People are still frazzled and war wary and weary. Most expect it to spark again but on a much grander scale. Including the taxi driver who brought us from the airport yesterday. He said each country has its problems - hurricanes, drugs, poverty - and that Israel's is that of a war zone. Wait and see.
It was hard as hell to come back. I didn't want to. Not because my life here in HLC is shite or because I'm having 2nd thoughts about staying. Because after the summer's mishaps on a personal front - apartment burgled, cat ran away, dog of 14-years horribly sick and put to sleep a mere three days prior to our return - I was terrified of walking into the loneliness and emptiness of a post-burgled, animal-free home. I didn't want to leave the comfortable safety net of parents and siblings.
Being in the apartment has been good. Smelling Atticus in her bedding, seeing her collar, calling for our cat Kalikee in hopes of her return and assessing the break-in damage (almost none) has been far easier than my imagination had conjured. I have cried loads and the physical pain of wanting my long-time companion is sometimes overwhelming. But it will be okay. Support from friends, strangers and family all over the world has been incredibly helpful.
And there is a warm cocoon here. Unlike a parents', it envelopes on a broad level providing a sense of it'll be okay no matter what.
I have agonized over not being with my pet in her final hours as she suffered and was released. However, I think we humans search for meaning, reasons and clues in our endeavors because if we didn't, life would feel too random or senseless.
I came to the conclusion that I couldn't have been in HLC with Attie when she was put down. I couldn't have separated from her nor could she have separated from me. We were closely attached - she traveled with me all over the world, went to work with me and was at my side most of the time in cafes, shops, at friends' homes, parks, the beach and on vacations throughout the years. This summer was the longest period we'd ever been apart. I don't believe my grief would have allowed me to be a comfort to her at the very end.
In an ironic cosmic twist, less than 24 hours after Attie died, her longtime dog friend Chance -also a Golden Retriever but living in San Francisco - suddenly died of a stroke. Chance's person Jo e-mailed to say she believes Attie wanted him with her. I sure hope so. It makes me feel better to think they're hanging out.
I'll upload a picture from files but until then, follow this link and enjoy.
Over & out for now.