“Standing at the crossroads, trying to read the signs
To tell me which way I should go to find the answer,
And all the time I know,
Plant your love and let it grow.”
Let It Grow- Eric Clapton
A parade of images flow through my mind and as they do I remember people and places and think about the choices I have made and those I haven’t.
Standing on the top of Masada, staring out into the desert listening to the echoes of the past touch my present I think about where I want to be down the road and I know it is here.
One day I’ll live in Israel, get married, raise a family and live this incredible, exceptional and amazing life. There is no doubt in my mind because at 16 you are invincible and all the world is yours for the taking.
Things happen and I don’t move as soon as I expect to, there will be no college experience in Israel for me. It is ok, I’ll roll with it.
It is midnight now and I am sitting at a pub in Jerusalem drinking a beer and listening to the Scottish girl tell me I have a funny American accent. She wants to know why I am wearing my baseball cap backwards.
I tell her that she is the one with the funny accent and her friends laugh and tell me “I am so American.”
Some hours later my roommate complains when I wake him up and asks me if I am drunk or happy. I tell him neither and he asks me how I blew the deal.
“I wasn’t trying to close it. I was just enjoying myself. I plan on moving here soon and I want to be free of all attachments.”
But it doesn’t happen then either. I go back to the states and in a bit more than a year I am married.
Third Time Is The Trick
It’s the summer of ’98 and it is my wife’s first trip to Israel. We are hanging out with some friends who live in Jerusalem and watching their kids run around the hotel.
I stare at these little girls and wonder when someone is going to call me dad. It will only be two years but I am having trouble imagining where they will be born, the kids I don’t have.
Later on we’ll swim in the Mediterranean and I’ll tell my wife that I still want to move to Israel. She asks me if I intend on joining the army and I nod my head.
“If I am going to do it, I am going to go all the way. This is a place that calls to me. It owns a piece of me and every time I leave I notice its absence.
The third time is not the trick but I can’t say exactly why. Â That was the summer D died and that changed many things. Don’t know that it really had an impact on moving or not moving but it is when I started to recognize how fast time can move.
I was 29 and I had discovered mortality.
“Time is getting shorter and there’s much for you to do.
Only ask and you will get what you are needing,
The rest is up to you.
Plant your love and let it grow.”
What Door Will You Choose?
I am standing at the crossroads again but this time it is different. Life experience has provided me with an awareness that didn’t exist before and a level of maturity that changes everything.
Who I am and what I am willing to do now is different than it was then.
I have a far better sense of what I want and what I need now. It would be easy to look back and moan about mistakes I have made but maybe they weren’t mistakes.
Maybe they were things I needed to do to become who I am now.
That might sound like a bunch of woo woo nonsense. It might sound ridiculous but it works for me and ultimately that is what is important.
When night falls and you close your eyes you need to be able to feel good about the door you chose to open and the one you didn’t.
People say you can’t ever step in the same river twice because the current is always moving and it is always changing but that doesn’t mean you can’t ever cross it or that the door you passed upon is permanently locked.
I don’t have to close my eyes to see where I want to go or who I want to become.
I planted the seeds and I am letting them grow.