created at: 2013-08-17

KAYLA YATES, Northeastern University ’17, is spending her summer interning at ALYN, a pediatric and adolescent rehabilitation hospital in Jerusalem, Israel.  Kayla is a participant of the Boston Onward Israel 2013 program.

Let it pass before my eyes before I happen to look away

A moment of pure joy and bountiful exploration

A feeling of loss juxtaposed by a sensation of extreme gain

There is a time to question the unexpected and accept the given

As though we are mere fragments of memory riding in and out with the tide

I came to this land with very few expectations

Unaware of the significant impact that this journey would have on my past, present, and future

My head swimming in gravity, barely supporting my faint eyes being seduced by the sun

I am finding it hard to transition from such weightless and incomparable worldly observation and meaningful contribution

To a preconceived strict and uniform daily life and schedule

Hold my hand though it might quiver in the wind

Warm my body with your sensual touch

Understand that I will never forget or let go of the unique sensation of inner and outer limitlessness you have provided

My memory lies within the notes of the Mediterranean, Mizrahi music

The addicting scent of fresh baked pita and the taste of the silky rich hummus that bathes my mouth in moisture

My body will preserve the full body massage of the Shuk’s pounding beat as it awakes in the evening

The beady eyes of such brave, strong children

Holding onto the hands of others, while standing up on their own

I will continue to walk across the bridge that neighbors the light rail

Communicating with the unstable tonality of the cobblestone streets

Observing the fruitful picnics at Sacher Park

And exchanging kisses on the cheek with strangers

How is it possible that in three months time I feel like I truly LIVED for the first time?

An opportunity to prove to myself that I am capable of creating connections

Establishing purpose

Enabling the moment

And most importantly safeguarding my health and that of others

I carry those new and old smiles into my home

Painting the walls with perspective and debate

And uniting one human man and woman, adult child, mother and father

Opportunities like this create personality and establish individuality

We grow to learn more about others and ourselves

Hoping that when we fall and fail, we can interpret and understand our intentions

When I return to Israel, I will not be traveling to an unfamiliar land, but rather

A home where I am not required to pay rent, purchase furniture, or search once more for a secure space

Finally, I will return this time to a memory not forgotten or foreclosed

But to a piece of myself that will come alive in new and unexpected ways each time I set foot on the holy, historical soil of a time and a people

Thank you

Thank me

Thank him

Thank her

Thank them

For a journey is never complete without the places and faces that tell you a story and help redefine life’s bookends

 created at: 2013-08-17