Sights and Sounds of TwilightThe pre-dusk sun sparkles through fern-like leaves moist from earlier rain. fluffy cumulus clouds float bellies flushed with pink soon to spread beneath the grey nimbus ones promising a good day will follow? Red robins on ridge posts perched trill melodious songs to serenade their spouses. sparrows chatter in bushes twittering excitedly sharing their daily news. with all cloistered clan, while biding the day farewell. Fluttering poplars form soft silhouettes against a pinkish sky. blossom-laden lilacs gently filter the air; their softly scented sprays glisten in the ebbing sun until they finally begin to fade. Frothy milkweed pods flutter amid the twilight air seeking a place to alight. swallows swoop through the sky preying on insects below as shadows slowly lengthen and the darkness deepens as night cautiously encroaches.
After an Ice StormBeautiful shapes an ice storm sculpts; nature now, as always, in flux, turns snow to ice crusts and roofs implode. Tree trunks shimmer with a patina of snow their ice-coated twigs creating patterns of veins agleam against the sun. Snow-capped roofs become pockmarked by floating flocculent slush as wet snow falls from trees above. Melting ice from trees and icicles drips steadily through the moist air pitting the snow-covered ground below.
Caesarea MaritimaGrasses ripple amidst resurrected ruins, warm breezes blow from an azure sea, spumes pulse against the rocks of a salty shore. Terraced tiers of limestone seats surround an ancient hippodrome, soft murmurs whisper amidst a susurrant breeze. Remains of a roman fortress in a horseshoe cove curve around a rocky shore where a Phoenician port once throve. Lonely silhouetted column shafts rise above the Levantine brine, a perfect panorama maritima.
Beit She'anA slice of Heaven lies where the Jordan and Jezreel meet nestled below a tellurian Tel. One lone column stands, a composite capital crowned with a crescent moon. Rows of ancient ruins run along a limestone road, sounds of Roman chariots now stilled. Rounded arches span above a Nympheon font, with hypoclasts of Roman blasts. A serpentine path winds behind upon a verdant hill, sparkling in the iridescent sun.
Eilat upon the Red SeaBobbing sailboats surround a golden beach while dazzling white ziggurats, hotels of modernist cubes and tropical plants align a palm-lined promenade. The jagged crags of the pink Moav Hills encircle a marina and glittering lagoon alight with glistening jewels, like gems, gifted perhaps from Solomon to the Queen of Sheba. From here the azure waters fringed with coral reefs flow southward toward the Gulf of Aqaba, to the Straits of Tiran and then into the Red Sea from whence Sheba set sail for the land of Ophir.
Mount TaborA modern Romanesque church, a lone shrine upon a hill stands atop aged crusader stones high upon a Byzantine wall, a monument to illumine the site where Heaven and earth once met. Strategically appointed windows allow rays of golden, gleaming sun transfiguring, transforming an apsed-dome's glistening mosaic where Jesus, Moses, and Elijah dazzle in a sublime, iridescent light. Souls transport to a higher plane hearts soar to dimensions surreal while three apostles cower below James, Peter and John struck with awe. A voice echoes through the marble walls “This is my Son with whom I am well-pleased”.
Upon the Hills of GalileeAbove the Sea of Galilee a golden, Greek Basilica serenely scans the sea. Curves of a filigreed gate filter clusters of azaleas and bushes of purple hibiscus. Cypresses and stately palms sentinels in vertical verticality mirror the columns of a cloister. Once upon that immortal hill Jesus bespoke the blest beatitudes in the famous Sermon on the Mount. Now pilgrims ponder these words in peaceful tranquility, far above the pellucid sea.
The Western WallMulti layers of finely-chiselled Herodian stones form a monolithic wall that beckons all Jews. Upon it rests forever the presence of God and upon it the Messiah will someday return. Solemn men enter by a wide set of ropes, some in black shtreimels and betiskes with untrimmed beards and flowing side locks, others wear western dress, but all wail and keen. We enter the narrower path set aside for women, where bowing, we beg for peace in the Middle East, hastily scribble prayers to insert into the creviced wall, before departing backward with reverent awe.
The Sea of GalileeAdrift upon a harp-shaped sea, the morning mists recede as rays of sun ascend above the Sea of Galilee. A moment of peace descends amid the soft green hills, nets are cast over the water, into the Sea of Galilee. Truly, truly, we are here! adrift in a sunny clime; it is no fantasy, we muse upon the Sea of Galilee. We can almost see waving from ashore... Simon Peter, and the sons of Zebedee.