No, I’m not Israel’s tourism minister, but now that spring is just around the hill, I feel compelled to
share some of the physical beauty of Galilee. Granted, there are days when the summer heat is oppressive, when winter is wet and cold, when dust storms roll in from the desert, yet I can’t deny that the scent and color of spring makes it almost all worthwhile. The morning treks just behind our house are glorious. Olive trees dot the landscape. The almond trees just completed their pinkish bloom, the farmers are pruning the grapevines, the wheat is bending in the wind, the soil is dark brown-red-black and the sky above is pregnant with fat clouds. Our dog Max sniffs the change in seasons; he’s the first out the door to run in the fields and the last to return. Judging by his wagging tail, I trust he’s happy to be in the outdoors, to chase after imaginary prey, and to disappear behind tall stalks of wheat and barley.
The Jewish holiday Passover is late this year, arriving at the end of April. This does not keep us from getting a head start in cleaning, arranging, rearranging, fixing, clearing, throwing, dusting, spraying, polishing, and crashing for a much deserved rest. Cooking by the pot-loads will soon begin in the kitchen. Days are longer, the sweaters and coats make their way back into closets. The space-heaters in the house are unplugged. The natural stone pathways and entryway outside our home are given a good scrub-down and wash with a power hose. The waterproof covers over lawn furniture are removed. Now the outdoor armchairs and sofas inhale deeply, releasing a long-held winter breath. Sparrows, hummingbirds, robins come in for a landing on the branches and to suckle from fragrant flowers. Bees buzz. Kids on bikes buzz past our front gate. Spring is here, almost. Next time you’re in Israel, include Galilee in your itinerary.
That’s a warm suggestion from Israel’s unofficial tourism minister – me!
Maurice Labi is an Israeli-American who lived in Los Angeles for many years. In 2011 He returned to Northern Israel (Galilee) with his wife and twin teenage daughters. He is of two lands, of two cultures and he blogs about his experiences in Israel, particularly from Galilee where Jews and Arabs dwelled for centuries.
He has also written three novels: “Jupiter’s Stone,” “Into the Night,” and “American Moth” — available at Amazon.com
or at BN.com