Thank you to Israel Outdoors alum David Fox for sharing.
As I sat there in the park, enjoying the sun, the lovely gentle breeze, people’s smiles and laughter, the overwhelming sense of camaraderie and contentedness, watching the group playing Ninja or the couples playing Matkot, and desperately trying to figure out if we were grabbing for the totem based on color or shape, something struck me.
And it kept striking me. And it wasn’t the ball from someone playing Matkot (מטקות).
It was this strange, bittersweet sensation that, if I could, I would have repeated that same day another hundred times, just to do something different each time, talk to someone else, play a different game or have a different conversation. Perhaps it was an existential crisis, a flash of impermanence, a recognition of mortality. Perhaps it was all three. And I knew that, even despite being jubilant in that moment, completely at peace and calm, and so connected in the presence of everyone there, that even in that one lovely, picturesque evening, there were so many unexplored moments, so many things, and people, that I’d never know or experience.
The feeling was indescribable, not because I lacked the adequate words for it, but because there were no adequate words for it. And as I look in my journal at my scrawl describing the absolute blast I had singing classic hits with Alon and Ofek or learning Hebrew from Oriya, I recall a certain gratitude, a gratefulness to be able to be there, and connect with people who had lived the majority of their lives a continent away from me, to laugh with them, to smile with them, to joke with them, to sing with them, to learn from them. I felt a sense of oneness, deeper than brotherhood or sisterhood, with these individuals, despite having known them only a few days; it was all those moments, those countless inscrutable interactions that make up our lives, that my photos or writing will never truly capture, because some part of that incredible beauty, unspeakable magnetism and timeless wonder in each of those moments lies in the fact that it was a mere blip in time in each of our lives, a granule of sand that slipped through our fingers to join the rest. And you cannot hold onto a fistful of sand no matter how hard you try.