Monday, March 16, 2015

How Strange

How strange and wondrous life is. I leave for Israel in a couple of weeks.
On a ridiculously clear and warm winter's day a week ago a friend and myself strolled in a park in Point Richmond. My friend asked me whether I would be going to the kibbutz when I am there.

"Of course," I replied. I always go. I then added that what is always strange for me is how, when I am there, my other realities simply fade away. I know the people so well, and have known them for so long - Kibbutz Ein Dor was my home for eight very important years of my life, and I visit it every time I am in Israel.
So I affirmed "yes, I will be visiting." I looked around at the bay and the shorebirds and the ducks. A gentle breeze came off the water - the land is speckled with yellow, mustard flowers and invasive oxalis. I noticed a woman walking toward us who seemed to be looking very intently in my direction, not our direction. As she came closer she smiled - I looked at a vaguely familiar face, but these days all faces seem vaguely familiar to me. I smiled in acknowledgment of her smile. She looked intently again and then said in accented english
"Excuse me, are you Nesta? from Kibbutz Ein Dor?"
As soon as she said that all those years came flooding back - yes, of course I knew who she was. I knew her now deceased father, and mother, and older sister and was familiar with her younger sister. I remembered their stories. I remembered she was a musician, and someone I have not seen for 40 years.
We stood rooted to the dusty path, both of us astonished. She lives in Point Richmond, and I live in Albany. We have never seen each other.
Questions bubbled forth - 'do you remember? .... how is ?....... have you seen? how often do you go there? ... What are you doing? ....
Even stranger, I asked her whether she remembered a brother and sister from the kibbutz. Yes, of course she did, their stepmother had been pivotal in her life and instilled in her a love of music -
I told her they lived on streets parallel to the street on which I live, in Albany!
That night my dreams were of kibbutz and everyone there. We are getting together soon, and when I return from Israel all of us will get together for a kabbalat shabbat.
And now I am so excited to tell everyone on kibbutz how we met up here.
The friend I was with in Point Richmond and myself visited South Africa last year. After our reunion in Johannesburg I left for the Cape and bade her farewell until we next see each other in California.
On my last day in the Cape I went with my cousin and a friend to Kirstenbosch Gardens on a Saturday afternoon. There must have been thousands of visitors there. I stood marveling at a host of magnificent king proteas when I looked up and saw a woman with a down coat draped over her arm. She turned around and we gaped at each other - how did we met here? at this moment, in crowded Kirstenbosch gardens, when we knew that the next time we would see each other would be back in California?
These synchronistic events happen to me all the time; in London, in New York, on the Costa Del Sol, in India, in the Bahamas, and yet each and every time I am struck afresh by the wonder of it all.
It informs me that there are invisible threads which connect us all, and our reality is multi-layered, and it helps me when sometimes I feel so alone in the universe.


  1. I loved this piece so very much....kathy allen