Over the years, I have lived in several neighborhoods in Jerusalem. I love the thrill of getting to know the nooks and crannies of the areas around the place we have made our home. Binny and I have recently started talking about where we are going next. We have always thought about leaving Jerusalem one day and with my last semester of school starting in a few weeks, it felt like the right time to think about our next move. (Any ideas or suggestions for locations are very welcome.) As I walked with Eden to daycare this morning, I took the time to notice some of my favorite things about the corner of the world that we have called home for the past almost 5 years.
- Knowing which side of the stairs is easier to bump a stroller up (wisdom shared by a sweet old grandmother).
- The people who I regularly see everyday. I don’t know their names and in many cases, we have never exchanged even a single word. But we smile and nod at each other every day. There is one elderly woman who calls me “Eden’s mom.” She loves telling me about her grandchildren and always has a special smile for Eden.
- Being able to recognize new faces working at one of the local markets. And knowing where to get the freshest bread and the most beautiful flowers on Fridays.
- Forgetting my wallet at home, but still being allowed to take what I need from the grocery because they know I will come back to pay later.
- Learning the quickest routes to get to where I need to go if I am in a rush, as well as how to make the walk long and leisurely on gloriously sunny days. And knowing on which paths I need to keep an extra eye out for dog poop.
- Knowing which side of the street to walk on to get the best shade in the summer and the most sun in the winter.
- Knowing where the cats’ favorite hangouts are- Eden gets a kick out of seeing them jump into and out of garbage cans.
These days, I love how Eden takes note of all the things we pass on our daily walks. She points out to me where construction workers are building a new house, where there are big puddles from last night’s rain, where the pizza store is, where there are trees with pine cones, and she also knows to tell me when we are “almost there.” It doesn’t get much better than watching Eden learn our neighborhood and getting to experience my own surroundings through the eyes of a two-year-old (still cannot believe that my girl is 2).