Travel day, heading north. Of course given that the whole country is about the size of New Jersey, it was kind of like driving up to Hackensack. But this was Israel, and we were traveling back in time…to Caesarea.
Caesarea, the Roman capital of Judea when they ruled, now filled to overflowing with Roman ruins and luxury housing, more like Moorestown than Hackensack. But I fell in love with the ruins, and spent the day happily clicking away:
There was also the Bird Mosaic, a mosaic floor in remarkable repair that was once the courtyard of a sumptuous, palatial home:
Although the study sessions have been truly fascinating…in a way, I would have loved spending more time in that space. In the rush-rush, look-here, wow-look-at-that, I didn’t feel I had the chance to really absorb the feel of it all. I wanted just to sit quietly, and maybe let the ghost of a little girl who used to play there, back when the house — her house — was still there, come shyly up to me. I’d smile, and she’d smile back, and I’d ask her without words about her life there, and she’d tell me without words (because she’s shy, and not just because she’s a ghost) that the yellow flowers she was picking were for her mother’s hair, because there was a big party tonight, but she couldn’t go because she had to go to bed, because she was just a little girl. And I’d think about how little girls and flowers and ghosts and courtyards with beautiful mosaic floors could all exist in the same space, the space I’m sitting in right now, despite the separation of centuries.
We traveled on, and explored the catacombs and caverns of Beit Sharim. Finally we headed up to our destination for the next day, arriving after dark so that we had to wait until morning to appreciate the unbelievably amazing views.