Monday was Memorial Day in Israel. It is a day where soldiers killed in wars as well as casualties of terrorist attacks are remembered.
It’s a day that I’d rather avoid – a somber 24 hour period where a siren is sounded throughout the country for 2 minutes at 11 in the morning.
For those 120 seconds, the entire country comes to a stand still.
I happened to be on a sherut (a mini-bus), with a huge mess of flowers that i had just bought at the open market. I was hoping to make it home before the 11am siren but I didn’t.
As soon as its plaintive wail began, the driver stopped the bus – opened his window and stuck his head out. I, along with a few other people, walked to the front of the bus. Out on the street, it was like a movie set. People standing outside of their cars- still -with head bents or gazing towards the sea.
The entire country was in prayer.
As I listened to the mournful cry of the siren, I experienced tremendous sadness and grief and silently wept in my soul. Tears streamed down my face.
When I returned to my seat, I felt the heaviness that this group’s consciousness was still shouldering – all 66 years of soldiers lost in wars and citizens killed in acts of terrorism.
I spontaneously said: “Who would like a flower?”
I heard a voice respond with: “Why not? Especially on such a day.”
A middle aged man sitting immediately behind me had spoken these words. As I handed him the flowers, I noticed a young woman across from him smiling at me. I gave her some flowers. And so it continued, until half the people on the mini- bus were holding small clusters of yellow like daisy flowers.
I give out flowers a few times a week through my project Give A Flower, Get A Smile. Usually when I offer flowers to someone on a bus, perhaps one person will accept while others look the other way, closing off to the possibility of connecting. Even for one moment.
But something about those 2 minutes of prayer and paying respect to lives lost transformed the energy on the bus. This shared experience opened our hearts.
The giving and receiving of the flowers was just a reminder of the profound need and desire for humans to connect with each other.
Not through texting, e-mailing, or skyping. But face to face. Up close and personal.
How often we forget our shared humanity, Fran. Thank you for sharing your experience. You never fail to inspire!
You were in the right place at the right time. Used by the Universe to put smiles on faces. I think you changed the energy on the bus with your generous presence. x
Thanks Tess. It didn’t take much for such a small group of us to change the energy on the bus. And if that’s all we did, fine. My hope is that everyone went home feeling a bit different and whoever they interacted with felt their positive energy. But yes, you are right. A big thank you to the universe who put me on that bus at that given moment! A big hug – Fran
Beautiful post, Fran. How lucky those were on the bus to have you there to share your flowers and to make their lives a little more joyful at that moment of remembrance. War is so devastating and it is painful to think about those that have lost their lives. What a beautiful gift you are giving to others!
Cathy- I didn’t want to go into detail on the post but I really do dread this day in Israel – very different than Memorial Day in the U.S. The country is so tiny that every casualty is piercingly painful for the overall consciousness – even if not individually. But in hindsight, what a gift it was for me to happen to be on the bus when the siren went off. Life sure is interesting, as you well know! Fondly. Fran
I feel your experience Fran. Love to you! Finally, it is the connections we make that make life worth living. Hugs!
Vidya – Great to see your beautiful face. Yes indeed, ultimately it is about connecting – to ourselves, others, nature, and spirit, that create a meaningful and joyful life. Sending love to you. Fran
Fran, What a sensitive and very moving post. I experience the same feelings on September 11th, having been sent to work at the World Trade Center on the day of the attack. I was there for 3 weeks, through the High Holidays, and it was very, very hard. To this day, I struggle with what happened, especially on that day.
Cathy- I never knew this about you. I don’t even have the words to describe how I think this historical and devestating event has impacted you. I empathize with your struggle. Fondly, Fran
Fran, I so admire your courage in standing up, connecting with others and transforming grief into joy. What a beautiful human being you are!
Martine- What a wonderful way to start my week – reading these kind words. Truly, doing this doesn’t take courage for me. Other things do though. We all have our ‘fear’ arenas. I appreciate your support. Sending a big hug- Fran
Beautiful post Fran! So incredible that you get to connect through what you love best… flowers! It’s amazing how tragedy can bring people together.
Thanks for sharing!
I think that any type of shared experience allows people to connect. This one just happened to be one based on sad memories. Yes- I’m lucky to be able to connect through giving flowers! xxoo
Beautiful post. Faith in humanity restored.
Am glad that it helped to restore your faith in humanity. There’s lots of good folks in the world. Sometimes it takes a bit more effort to see it – but it’s there. Thanks for your comment. Fran