Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Let me show you round my hood.

Yesterday I truly explored the Mount of Olives for the first time. It's so close and so wonderful, yet I had no idea just how magical it was.

So Kate, Bryan (you'll be seeing an awful lot of their backs), and I had no plan but to wander. And look what we found!

I collect graffiti, interesting signs, and license plates. I'll have to post my Middle East Edition collection sometime soon.
Bryan being a crescent goat. We really, really miss Ramadan.
We accidentally trespassed on an olive tree farm where we were chased and nearly attacked by a pack of vicious feral dogs. And thenwe were stuck between death and big brick walls and barbed wire and suddenly...

...We were at the Garden of Gethsemane!
These trees are very, very old. This place is very, very special. There's a certain feeling permeating the air. Asking us to remember that Christ suffered for the sins and pains of all. Right around here.
Maybe that's why he chose trees that can live to be a couple thousand years old?The church of All Nations, which is attached to the garden, has some incredible artistic elements. The doors illuminated an intricate olive tree design, and let the light birst in, It kind of took my breath away. {That's my dear Ali-cat in the picture}
More of the church:

We happened upon some Spanish Priests performing communion, and a nice little monk watching.Next was the incredible Hebrew cemetary we literally stumbled into. It has an amazing view of the city and the Mount of Olives.

There's another across the way (accross the Kidron Valley, rather) in the City of David (right below the temple mount) that I'm excited to visit. Oscar Schindler is buried there.

Jesus is supposed to enter the city through this gate when he comes again. Which is why Sultan Suleiman blocked it off, I suppose?

This one is for you, Laura Kipp!

So then we stumbled upon Dominus Flevit, a veritable sanctuary. It's the traditional site of Jesus' mourning over Jerusalem and its people.(Remember the Greg Olsen) And you can see why! The view is incredible. We sat in the small empty church, with a direct view of the Dome of the Rock, and soaked in the peace. It was one of my favorite places I've been.
The acoustics in the little domed chapel were incredible. I sang "I wonder when he comes again."
And I really did wonder.

And this sign says to me, "Please keep your rubber gloves off the plant life."

And then we said, "Let's go home." and were so grateful that where we were going was home.
We walked down our favorite street, which I don't know the real name of it is, but I call Baklava street.
Kate and I got kissed on the hand by little boys.
A man drove by in his car and said very sincerely and cordially, "You are beautiful!" Then drove away. Much better than the similar greetings in Egypt which were'nt so cordial. I always had to flank myself with strong young men:

Then we walked through practice at our favorite football {soccer, if you will} field, and along with the hundreds of small palestinian boys running around (one of which, the chubby one, said "Shalom." maybe he thought we were Jewish?), was a man with a giant beard. Racing around on a big grey horse. Through soccer practice.
And a smaller boy nearby breaking a horse.
At soccer practice.
This is quite typical of jerusalem and one of the reasons I love it so much.
I love it so much!
And I love You!


little miss erika said...

"Please keep your rubber gloves off the plant life"

oh bless you

Trina said...

Oh Anna, you have such an artistic eye. Thank you for the beautiful pictures. I really did get tears in my eyes. You have a way of making us all feel the magic you feel while being there. I hope I have the opportunity of visiting this wonderful place someday. Shea keeps telling me he wants to take me there someday. You really are beautiful,inside and out, be careful.

lunablue said...

What's for me why?