A Woman Dancing in Jerusalem
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.
Wrinkles of time, the melody pacing through their bodies, as each slow, yet purposeful step makes love with the ground; the melody of a country visible in the graceful arm and leg movements of its older generation.
While taking an evening walk amidst the cobblestone walls of the Mamilla Mall in the Old City of Jerusalem, my friend and I stumbled upon a vibrant, jovial circle of dancing seniors. Their energy was contagious and I could not refrain from joining their effervescent whirlpool of musical movement.
I made my way into the circle, following the footsteps of those around me, watching and reading their every move. A sentiment of peace and patience projected from the speakers, and in no time, I found myself entranced by the ebb and flow of their synchrony. The choreography was unfamiliar, though quite humbling.
In a unique way, I was unaware of the significant age difference between my dancing partners and me. I felt as though I was engaging with my peers, playing persistently with the music that surrounded us. It was beyond refreshing to be in an environment that was non-judgmental and where every participant was dancing for themselves, for their personal pleasure and enjoyment. There was no pressure to secure every move on the first try or to dance during every song. Every body present was mindful and exact with his/her movement, extracting the most from each melodic step.
Beneath a string of lights, I danced with complete contentment. A moment in time, in which I found myself awakened by the sound and symphony of Jerusalem and its dedicated and experienced citizens whose cha cha’s, grapevines, claps, and turns revealed the undeniable unity, strength, and purpose that continues to percolate through each and every wrinkle of this country’s history.
Women at the Western Wall, the last remnant of the Second Temple