Monday, October 20, 2003

the palmach ascent:

We walk along the canyon walls, past a ghost waterfall- stones lovingly carved in the ways of water- past the small pools, murky and green, dotting the stream bed. M says-the rock wants to be like water- but it is a strange affair. There are plants growing along the walls, plants waiting for the rains, when the stream would come alive once more, if only for a little while. We walk along the wadi, seeing traces of people now and then- byzantine steps carved into the rock, and names scrawled in hebrew on the walls. The walls reach up almost as if to form a roof from the harsh midday sun. We keep walking as wadi gives way to wadi, and the streams connect up in dramatic ways- always the whisper of water is among us- the fossil lined walls are embedded, nugget-like, with long forgottten sea shells. We follow a small path etched on the hillside, climbing higher and higher and the ground shears away, till suddenly we stop at the sheer gorge- a sight we were almost expecting. Magnificient vistas of hills and walls rising and ebbing. We stand at the edge and look down at the drop, and A tells us the story of the Ascent. I can imagine the echoing of the horses' hooves as they pursue the small band of the palmach, who, faced with an impossible climb, did it anyway.