celebrating my country

There are private days, and birthdays, and holidays, and days when you get paid, and days when you pay your taxes or rent… the last day to get your car license renewed… all kinds of days. But today is a community day. One in which I join my countrymen in celebration of our state. Usually we go for a picnic, and take a few steps where we’ve never been in our little country. But today it’s raining, so it’s a modest celebration. I’ll have a few drinks, see a few friends, listen to music, and laugh a bit. Last night there were fireworks in the skies of Jerusalem, and there was quite a bit of wine on the table. Fruit salad, cake, candles and incense. On the radio, they told us to keep pets inside because they sometimes have a negative reaction to the fire crackers. But since I don’t usually limit my cat’s freedom, she was free to watch if she wanted to.

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a few gazelles in the Negev, near the Rimon Crater.

The gazelle is an important symbol in regards to our country, which is traditionally called, ‘land of the gazelle’. They are considered brave and glorious, and they are very graceful. You can watch them as they run across the rock studded countryside, almost hovering over the land, their path never impeded by obstacles. They were harder to find forty or fifty years ago, but their population has greatly increased in recent years, and you can spot them easily now. They often approach the very edges of populated areas towards sunset, checking things out… and sometimes looking for food and water.

And since our days start with the evening, and are followed by the light and day on the principle of darkness before light, I am in the middle of this joyous occasion, and despite the rain, giving it all my heart. And to my virtual friends, my best wishes for a beautiful and luxurious carefree day.

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66 responses to “celebrating my country

  1. Thank you for sharing your celebration. When I am no longer on pain medication, I will drink a glass of wine in remembrance of the shared celebration.

    • I hope that very soon, you’ll be back to complete health… without any pain, my dear Corina. And that will be reason enough to raise a glass in celebration.

  2. Enjoy your day Shimon! I envy it. It would be nice to have such a day in our country but as we’ve discussed before, even our saints day is glossed over in the name of political correctness! The English celebrating England as a proud nation? Never going to happen again sadly. England as I knew it as a child is gone. We’re a multi-cultural society now. Nothing wrong with that but celebrating multi-culturalism I’d have thought should include celebrating the indigenous culture, the host nation, but it doesn’t unfortunately.
    The photograph of the Gazelles is very beautiful!

    • Glad you liked that picture, Chillbrook. One of the older ones, taken on negative film. And I know what you’re talking about when it comes to celebration. We live in an age, where every day is dedicated to some cause. And the very idea of celebration is losing much of its value. And then with political correct new-speak to deal with, communication is often reduced to good manners. But there’s still some room for mischief… and a smile that is not made from parenthesis…

  3. Lovely portrayal. Happy Birthday, Israel!

  4. Beautiful pictures and day. In Barcelona they celebrate St. Jordi with roses and books.

  5. Thank you, Shimon. Enjoy your blessings. That photo of the gazelles is breathtaking, especially the colour of the sky.

  6. I’ve often wondered why my Jewish friend’s day started at night. I was too embarrassed to ask, feeling like it was a stupid question. Day following night makes so much sense. Thank you for the best wishes. May you be blessed.

    • As we have learned from our ancestors, the questions are more important than the answers. Have courage, dear Judy. And thank you so much for your blessing.

  7. Our community in Toronto is celebrating too Shimon. Happy Yom Hazthmaut.

  8. Wonderful photo, Shimon. I love the backlit gazelles and that beautiful sky. Your post is a great start to my day. Thank you for sharing the joy!

  9. Joyful and gentle celebrations, Shimon! I hope Nechama will find a celebratory adventure or two, as well.

    Thank you for the photographs of the gazelles. I just love them. Such elegant flow to their movement. 🙂

    • Thank you very much, Kitty. I think Nechama ate better than I did that day. She was a very spoiled feline. And I agree with you, the movement of the gazelles is a great pleasure to see,

  10. Have a joyous day!

  11. What beautiful gazelle, how I would love to see them! This is a beautiful day for you, I will be thinking of you as I watch our lovely blue skies.xxx

    • How wonderful that you had blue skies on that day, I felt a little cheated by the rain. But it was a very good day anyway. I have friends who tell me there is great beauty in rain too. Thanks, Dina xxx

  12. Very nice entry. Wish you well.

  13. I hope you had a glorious day, Shimon!

  14. The gazelle were especially beautiful. Seems that your countrymen have many celebrations. To me, each day is a wonderful gift.

    • I think we do have a lot of holidays, Bev. But I would be willing to adopt a few more from other cultures. And I agree with you completely, Each day should be treasured.

  15. A day worthy of much celebration, laughter, pride and delight – and I hope you experienced them all…Thank you for the story of the gazelle too – it’s only 5AM here, and I’ve already learned something new today! This clearly bodes well for the rest of the day.

    • Strangely enough, pride is looked upon with askance in my culture. But laughter and delight were definitely here. Wishing you a beautiful day, Mimi.

  16. Happy Birthday to your country dear Shimon. I hope you had a nice celebration day. Thanks and Love, nia

  17. Happy day, and indeed happy days, Shimon. What better thing can there be than cultivating/honouring fellow feeling.

  18. A beautiful image Shimon. It reminds me of the Ibex that I occasionally see in the European Alps

    • To tell you the truth, Andy, I’ve always related to these animals in my own language, Hebrew. My English speaking friends have offered a number of translations, and so I’m not sure what they’re really called in English. I just use the name provided by my dictionary. But it might be something else. Thanks for your comment.

  19. Thank you for sharing a few moments of your celebration, and I do hope it ended up to be an enjoyable community holiday, even if it wound up a modest celebration due to the weather. Any reason to gather with friends or family is another opportunity to store away some treasured memories.

    We don’t have gazelle here, but we do have white-spotted deer that do the same thing – hover around the edges of civilization in the evenings, usually looking for the dry corn that many folks put out for them. I sometimes see them in the early morning hours as well, but mostly, it’s just before sunset. I’m pretty much convinced that my dogs believe they are not deer at all, but that they are just dogs with really long legs. 🙂

    • As I just mentioned to Andy above, I’m not really sure what these animals should be called in English. At first, I called them deer, but then was corrected by English speakers. But I got a number of different translations… so I chose the dictionary version.

      I am almost sure, though, that your dogs don’t see those deer as dogs. They probably have a very strong division between dogs of all types and non dogs. But a rabbit might see them that way. In any case, in these days, with more and more wild animals facing extinction… it is good to see some that manage to multiply, and even approach civilization in a friendly way. Thanks very much for your comment, Nancy, and for joining me on my happy day.

      • I was just teasing about the dogs seeing the deer as dogs with really tall legs. Unfortunately, my big dog is so aggressively-natured, that he pretty much sees any other animal as something to be investigated, and in most cases, disposed of, if given the chance. I’ve never had any other dog with such highly attuned hunting tendencies before, so I’ve had to learn how to protect him (and especially other animals) from his natural hunting instinct. Thankfully, he’s a bit older and slower now, but I still do my best to just not give him any opportunities. Curiosity is fine, but aggressive action is not okay. My son originally brought this dog into our home, but before the dog was a year old, he became my sole responsibility. I doubt I would have chosen a breed with such aggressive tendencies, but on the flip side, it does make him an excellent watch dog.

        As you already know from reading my blog, I’ve grown ridiculously attached to him. I’m not fond of his overly-aggressive tendencies, but I accept that they came with the package. People should always be informed about the breed before bringing a puppy home. It wasn’t his fault that I was clueless about the breed, and even though I did my best to socialize him when he was still a wee puppy, this particular dog ended up being much more aggressive than I was expecting. To me, though, he’s just my sweetie pie, and I love his scrunchy face. 🙂

        I agree with you completely that it is nice to see some native animals being able to thrive, despite that their habitat is being encroached upon by humans. The deer in our area have become quite comfortable around humans, as long as they keep a respectful distance.

  20. Enjoy your celebration of your wonderful little country Shimon.

  21. Dear Shimon, thank you for sharing your thoughts about this special celebration… There are always *special* days to consider, unless you can just hartley enjoy ones (and try to forget about the sorrow of others). Hugs to you and your beloved.
    Serenity :-)claudine

    • I was reminded of you, Claudine, on this holiday, when a friend showed me a youtube cartoon in honor of our holiday. It was an animation featuring chicken who were insulted by the thought of barbeques. But you will be pleased to hear that vegetarian barbeques are coming into fashion here too. I’m willing to suffer the days of sorrow, though. It’s the banalities that I try to escape. Thanks very much for your comment.

  22. Hugs x

  23. There is a poem written by Thomas Haynes Bayly which contains the lined:
    “Some tame gazelle,some gentle dove,something to love,oh,something to love” When I read that it made me want to see a gazelle.So I enjoyed your photograph.It’s beautiful.
    Later an English woman wrote a novel called,Some tame gazelle.I wonder if they are easy to tame and whether there are people who live with one?

  24. That is a stunningly beautiful photo.

    I also love the way you turned what might have been called a washout into something positive. Your Yom Haatzmaut sounds wonderful. Ours was a little… um.. noisier, with all the children and grandchildren, and an electric grill sizzling in the kitchen while the barbecue filled up with water in the garden. 🙂

    • Thanks very much Anne. The way you describe your celebration sounds very good. What’s important is the family getting together, and experiencing the occasion with joy. I am sure it was a wonderful time.

  25. Thank you sharing the celebration, Mr. Shimon. Reading your post, I feel the joy of seeing the gazelles and the beautiful scene.

  26. Wonderful to know that you are having so much fun:) Janet. xx

  27. What a joyous post, full of inner smiles and outer pleasantries.

    Even your photo shows striking sky colours. With skies like thst as a backdrop to your scenes, who really needs fireworks… But, I guess when you are used to those sunsets, their impact is not the same as it would be for me.

    • Thanks so much, Menhir. I think the fireworks are meant mostly for the kids. But they provide a bit of drama during the celebrations. They go back to a time when we had much less technological entertainment. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of the young people were looking down at their cell phones nowadays, rather than up to the skies.

  28. What a wonderful perspective to see these graceful creatures silhouetted against that lovely sky~!

    • Thank you very much, Birder. It was a beautiful moment, and as luck would have it, my camera was already in my hand. I’ve had similar moments, when taking out my camera, scared them away.

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