Miri Maoz-Ovadia
Miri Maoz-Ovadia Miri Maoz-Ovadia, married to Shlomo and mother of Naveh, lives in Neve Tzuf. She is the overseas spokespersons coordinator for the Binyamin Regional Council. Thursday 19.2.15 No comments 2223 views

Then and Now

Then, when snow was a rare event –  one year yes, three years no, we would count the years carefully and convince ourselves that perhaps finally, this year it would snow.

Now that it snows twice a year, we can’t understand what’s going on.

Then, we didn’t know if it would really snow or not, only to wake up in the morning and discover that the ground was covered in white.

Now, the snow is mixed with water, mixed with hail, mixed with wind and there’s this sort of long promo until the real thing actually arrives.

Then, snow meant vacation from school, a break from classes, and the more vacation – the better.

Now, when our vacations days are numbered and precious, who even wants to waste them on snow?

Then, when there were power outages, we would light all of the candles in the house on one table and play “20 Questions” by candlelight.

Now, power outages mean that we can’t charge our cell phones, and the frustration at being disconnected from the world is stronger than any other feeling.

Then, we met up with all of our friends at the street corner and had a snowball fight until our clothes were soaked through, including the third and fourth layers we wore to fight the freezing cold.

Now, when I pass by in my car and a group of children throws snowballs at me, I get totally annoyed even though I remain completely dry.

Then, when it snowed, all that existed was our town and a few photos of Jerusalem covered in white in tomorrow’s newspaper.

Now, every minute there’s an updated snapshot of every location at any given moment.


Then, when the snow would fall slowly, we would quickly get bored and begin looking for something to do until it stuck and accumulated.

Now that we are two, sitting on the balcony together and watching the snow fall with a cup of coffee in hand becomes an activity that can go on for hours.

Then, when I fell in the snow again and again, I would immediately look around me to make sure that no one saw my embarrassing moment.

Now, there’s someone to give you a hand and prevent your next fall. If you fall anyway – there’s someone to blame.

Then, you had exactly 36 photos on your roll of film to document the entire storm.

Now, you can snap and snap photos nonstop, and even improve them on the computer and create the perfect picture.

Then, we would pray that the roads would be blocked and we would be stuck inside the town for a few days.

Now, the car is a vital item, a breathing apparatus, and blocked roads are really like blocked arteries.

Then, we would enviously eye the Jerusalemites and the great amounts of snow they were getting.

Now, we understood that the amount of snow isn’t the attraction, and that just the right amount is the key to every experience in life.

When it snows, then and now become intertwined inside of me. I still can feel that same excitement I felt as a little girl when the snowflakes flurry in the air, but I’m also worried about what will happen if the snowflakes decide to stick together and create a storm with destructive potential.

Then and now argue with each other – was it really better long ago, or is the present actually an improvement. The snowflakes somehow succeed in bridging the gap between the two, reminding me of the purity of childhood while also tapping on my face with frozen cruelty and reminding me of the challenges and difficulties of the big world.

And I choose to go inside, make a cup of hot chocolate and mix into it the memories from then and the feelings now, because the balance between them is the only thing that truly matters.




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