Pelicans at Hula Lake
Pelicans at Hula LakeiStock

“…let today embrace the past with remembrance and the future with longing” (Khalil Gibran)

Late sun beckons the morning to linger a bit longer, offering the promising glow of its warmth. A magical scene is displayed before our eyes. The vast expanse of a shimmering lake, crowned by the translucence of an endless light blue sky. White clouds float lazily by. Having thought in the morning to deposit rain, they reconsidered, and now happily drift in the serenity of late morning sunshine.

I am sitting with my sister by the lake. She sips ice lemonade, green nana leaves floating in a sea of dandelion yellow. I sip ice coffee. Clear frozen cubes drifting on creamy mocha…Almost three years have slipped by, unnoticed, separated by an ocean of time, of distance, a sea of regulations.

And now. I would like another please, I ask the waiter. (He glances at my half-full cup). And another one after that, I think to myself. May this moment not end. May it blend into eternity. Be etched into the memory of time, as sunlight sparkles on the glistening ice cubes, the freshness, newness, renewness, of today’s peaceful glow.

Music is wafting in the breeze. In the distance, I can almost hear the faint familiar strains of The dance of The Little Swans. In truth, swans actually float about the lake. White against blue, in serene motion of grace and tranquility.

The velvet curtains draw back, and we are both little girls, watching the ballet. Graceful white swans are dancing in perfect unison. One, and yet unique. Unique, and yet one. I gaze in wonder at the grace, elegance. A pale blue lake shimmers below the toes of the ballerinas, who dance into a distant world of enchantment, where longing and fulfillment, love and heartbreak, are intertwined. As a vision meets the surface of reality, and floats away into the world of dreams. In the dance of life, of hope, of grace and magic.

“When I was just a little girl

I asked my mother, what will I be

Will I be pretty

Will I be rich

Here’s what she said to me

Que sera, sera

Whatever will be, will be

The future’s not ours to see

Que sera, sera……….”

(Doris Day and Frank De Vol)

A lively group of little schoolgirls pass by on the shore of the lake. White tights, denim skirts, pink schoolbags. Pastel against white, as the beaks of the swans. Together, and yet apart. In unison, and yet each is unique. Uniformly the same and yet different, for they each have a special future in wait for them.

We stroll leisurely around the lake. On the side of the lake, below the benches where we had just been seated, a few birds can be seen curled up, resting peacefully. Sheltered from the wind, they are enjoying the sunshine and the gentleness of a breeze. The serenity and peacefulness of a warm sunny morning. As we had done as well.

“How precious is Your loving devotion, O God, that the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings!” (Psalm 36:7)

In the center of the lake, a few birds are perched on an island. There, the breeze is blowing with greater strength. Watching the birds, one can almost feel its force. The birds are facing in unison towards the direction from which the wind is blowing. Their beaks pointed firmly into the wind. From this position they will be able to use the wind’s force to resume their flight, propelling them into the future.

“Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, Thou art very great; Thou art clothed with glory and majesty.

Who coverest Thyself with light as with a garment, who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain…….

Who makest winds Thy messengers…”

By facing into the wind, the birds are being replenished by the force of life.

“Ruach”, which is the breath of life. The vital breath of Creation. The Spirit of Life which is within each of us, the essence of our Self, shining within us as beauty, grace, as freedom. The freedom to soar, towards the heights of our potential.

Facing into the wind, we are enabled to choose. Which of life’s offerings and challenges will we face, which will we address. And which of life’s issues will we rather allow to just pass us by, blown away as by air. Within the wind, in the same direction from which it is blowing, are hidden a subtlety of alternatives. A glance to the right, a slight shift to the left. A wide expanse of choices and outcomes.

Sometimes, we are able to use the events and challenges life presents to us as a springboard to great heights. The greater the challenge, the loftier are the heights to which we will soar. As the bird in flight.

The little girls are now in a line. In unison, but each unique. About to embark on the school bus and continue the journey of life.

May we find always beauty and grace in the dance of life.

May the winds of life enable us to soar upwards to sublime heights.

“For a few precious moments…..I am back in Old Texas, under a high sky.….where all things are again possible……and the wind blows free.”

(Larry L. King)

Dr. Devorah Ungar is an American-born scientist and musician.who moved to Israel 30 years ago.