Putting the Sun to Bed

Everywhere else in the world I have tended to get lost, but here, the child, the sun and I have found the true reason for being

I like walking, particularly to my favorite spots. But what I like best is walking along the path above the house at about dusk, with our little daughter, Tchelet, to put the sun to bed.

Tchelet was born in the house we built on Moshav Amirim, in the Galilee. When I was little, saying "Galilee" was like saying "Bar Kochba."

Nowadays the guy who led the revolt against the Romans doesn't do it for me anymore, but the Galilee still does, and very powerfully. That rocky path beholds all, with East and West on either side and the glory of the entire country spread out languorously before us.

In the morning, if we wish, we go up to the east, to welcome it from the lofty heights of heaven, along with all of Lake Kinneret, the Golan Heights, Mount Tavor, the Arbel cliffs, the city of Tiberias, and rows upon rows of ridges that are suffused in blue and gray light as far as the eye can see, filling the heart, filling the timeless moment. What more can one say?

Well, that this is a good time in the life of a young maiden, when she stands on the edge of a tall mountain, her father beside her, carrying in her small and trusting hand a rock from among the rocks of the Galilee, with which she will bypass reality and imagination when throwing it straight into the middle of the Kinneret.

Toward evening, when the need arises to accede to her excited request, we do what Dad?s generation said it would do, and ?follow the sun,? with Tchelet, a representative of the generation that both leads and follows, bridging a gap for me.

And how beautiful it is when you reach the sun aflame on the mountaintop! And the path there grows even more beautiful each day anew.Our path to the sun has something to offer during every season of the year, a totally new and enthusiastic innovation every day. Mostly carved into the side of the mountain, this path offers various observation points at every step. It is bathed in color by vineyards, grows verdant between ancient eucalyptus trees, displays cyclamens and anemones in a sea of brushwood, dies of thirst and nevertheless boasts new summer garb by dint of the streams that washed over it at the end of winter. The sun sets the Aleppo oaks on fire and cools primordial rocks, feverish during the accursed days of summer, yet still offers a great deal of shade along its banks here and there.

All the beauty of the land embraces this neighborhood pathway, born circa 2007 and already suffering from a bad case of enervated village-itis, but Tchelet and I head westward to follow the sun, in time to catch it with one leg in bed.

Everywhere else in the world I have tended to get lost, but here, the child, the sun, and the man have all found the true reason for being.We go both to welcome the sunset and to put the sun to bed. I carry with me what I know about the sun and the earth, and Tchelet, well, she?s got her iron-clad beliefs; whatever you believe, happens.

We are on the gravelly part of the path, in parallel universes with the possibility of clutching each other's hands, holding on tight, the daughter looking up at her father, and tossing out pearls of innocent wisdom that always end with, "Right, Dad?"

Quiet, poised, I take a deep breath and say, "Of course, my child," and the path leads us straight to the bed of the great sun, opens a gate for us, and now it is right there beside us, orange and pale. You can look at it now, soft and yolk-like.

We take our leave of it until it comes back to us in the morning and shines upon yet another day for us, and then another. Indeed, the days on which you manage to quickly get organized and go out and make it in time to put the sun to bed, are among the loveliest days of a man's life. Because then you know precisely why you are where you are, and are doing what you are doing.

And after all, someone has to put the sun to bed.

Miki Shaviv is a singer and music producer.