That’s a joke.
Home is an ongoing, changing environment. After 11 ½ months in one apartment on Feivel in Tel Aviv, we are moving to another apartment three blocks away on Be’eri, named after Berl Katzenelson. This will be my seventh move since 1998. For a sense of stability, I imagine the ghosts of these Zionist thinkers and writers watching over me. Fortunately, the apartment on Be’eri sits on the corner of Henrietta Szold, so the mother of all mothers, who was never a biological mother, will be spreading her wings over my fate, as well.
Two weeks after the move to Be’eri I’m going to visit another Home, the original one–Cleveland, LeBron James, Ohio. Apparently, for short, LeBron calls the city we share The Land. I will be leaving one The Land to go to the other The Land.
“Wherever I go, I am going to The Land of Israel (Jerusalem),” said Rebbe Nachman.
The latest image that comforts me in times of stress is a turtle. Like a turtle, I am slow. For example, my last five baby teeth had to be pulled out when I was fourteen, because they had no intention of falling out on their own. Menstruation began at fifteen. Married two months before 27, which back in the ‘60’s with Shaker Heights values, felt late. First child at thirty, also latish in those days in Jerusalem. Started a small business late. Found my calling as a teacher and mentor late. Made peace with myself at 70. Published a book late – maybe by 80, if at all. Found stability and love late. Learned how to express my love for my children late.
My mantra is from the children’s story The Tortoise and the Hare: Slow and steady wins the race. I don’t know which race I’m in, or who the competitors are, but I know I am slow and not necessarily steady, but persistent. These traits I inherited from my late father, who at 87 described himself as a Late Bloomer. He married at 38, had his last child when he was 48, started making money in his 70’s and moved to Florida at 87.
On the eve of my 71st birthday, I’m looking ahead to a blooming great decade . . . or four, with at least five more moves, the first four vertical.
Like a turtle, not only am I slow, but I carry Home on my back. I have learned to lessen the load by getting rid of casserole dishes, Norton anthologies and uncomfortable shoes. Each successive move is easier. No joke. I’m always moving closer to Home.