On this first day of a new year, I thought to write about love. Almost every story has love in it somewhere, even if not the love between a man and a woman. There are so many kinds of love without a sexual connotation – parental love; love of humanity; sibling love … the list is endless. I started thinking about a different aspect – there is love even without a human aspect. So I bring you –
THE GREAT LOVER
by DVORA WAYSMAN
One of the most beautiful poems ever written was penned by a British poet named Rupert Brooke, tragically
killed at a young age in the first World War. In his short life (1887 – 1915), he wrote prolifically, and his
poems are still quoted today. In one of the most memorable, “The Great Lover”, he detailed all the things
that were most dear to him – from “the strong crusts of friendly bread”, “the cool kindliness of sheets” to “the
benison of hot water.” It was his way of counting his blessings, and I think that is something we all need to do
now and then.
On re-reading his poetry recently, I was moved by the fact that although he died at 28, he lived each one of his brief years so intensely, almost as though he were aware that he would not be granted the time to savor and reflect. “The Great Lover” inspired me to make a list of things that I take for granted in Jerusalem, but which nevertheless enrich my life:
These I have loved:
The sound of the siren that ushers in the Sabbath, knowing that for the next 24 hours my life will be peaceful
and elevated above the mundane. The wind sighing in the pine trees outside my window, and the birds that nest
there so that each morning I awaken to birdsong. Dawn shyly creeping on my balcony when Jerusalem is
bathed in pearl as the city still sleeps.
I love the skyline of the Old City with its domes, minarets and turrets. Touching the stones of the Western
Wall and communing one-on-one with the Creator. The special quality of light in Jerusalem, especially sunset
when indigo shadows lengthen and the sky is strewn with stars.
I love the quiet street where I live, the feeling “I’m coming home!” as I turn the corner. Eating breakfast on
my white dishes with their big splashes of blue and yellow flowers, and pouring milk from a fat clay jug.
I love the knicknacks accumulated on holidays abroad and in the Jaffa fleamarket where I went with a dear
friend. A pottery vase of flowers picked from my own garden – a rose, a daisy, a simple geranium. And in
winter, the embrace of my thick, blue dressing-gown that hugs me in warmth. Old photos of people we loved
who are no longer with us.
So many things to love. But none more so than the company of family and friends; the laughter of
grandchildren and the trusting way they offer you their tiny hands. The things we love the most cannot be
bought with gold. They surround each of us each day waiting to be acknowledged and appreciated.
If we can take a few moments to pause and savour them, then – like the dead young poet – we can say
these things were lovely and – we loved!
May the coming year be filled with many things – and people – to be loved and cherished. Happy writing.
To contact me or locate my books, click on Books or About Me at the top of the blog.