"Friends are flowers that never fade." Proverb
Just as we start to relax into summer, Terror and Rage hit the UK. First the foiled car bombs in London. More potential "cells" discovered. Then a flaming car plunged into Glasgow Airport -- an atrocity that hit too close to home for me.
I've stood near that very spot. Looked through those windows. I think of Glasgow often, of the people I know and care about there.
On the wall facing my desk is a homemade paper sign with a lovelingly painted and hand-drawn multi-colored message:It was waiting to greet me on my last visit to Glasgow. Obviously, I treasure it.
My niece, nephew-in-law and their young children lived in Glasgow for several years while he served as Assistant Rabbi and Youth Director at a big Glasgow synagogue.
Their permanent home is in Israel, she's the oldest daughter of our Israel family. Moving far from the cocoon of religious Jewish family life all the way to Glasgow wasn't easy. But my niece is gifted with inner strength and the ability to adapt, to create a warm home and make new friends.
The Chief Rabbi, his wife and all the children in the family came to adore her. And extended their kindness to me whenever I visited Glasgow. We did tease the daughters about the sign, as I could hardly be welcomed back by "all the girls" in the city of Glasgow.
But for sure all the girls in Glasgow who made that sign love me and I love them right back.
Not counting the baby and the boys, the girls range in age from 6 to 16. They're sweet and bright and energetic, members of a large family who live a good, decent, spiritual, wholesome life. They work and study, play, sing, pray, help each other and anyone in need. They are special. Especially to me.
Now their city, their safety and their peace of mind are in jeopardy. I don't like it.
Glasgow is Brigadoon to me, green fields and rocky roads, huge open parks and small winding streets with enclaves of cozy houses. Large, tree-lined avenues fronted by imposing mansions with glorious gardens.
Strange though to see modern office buildings next to centuries old castles. To hear bells and bagpipes along with car and bus horns.
I can also report that whether Jew or Gentile, if you come from Glasgow you look it. And sound it. Oh, that red hair. Those freckles. And the lilting Scottish brogue.
It rains a lot in Glasgow and all the houses, humble or grand, have the same clever widows, set to open into a canopy at the top to let fresh air in while keeping the unwelcome rain water out.
I only wish there were a way those windows could protect Glasgow from all other kinds of damage or danger.
And here's some real irony: when I learned of the terrorist attempt in Glasgow, my first thought was: I'm so glad my niece and her family are back in Isreal now, where they're safe...
I pray that everyone stays safe ... especially all the girls in Glasgow.