Love- of what exactly?

I remember the first time I got off the plane in Tel Aviv. The excitement at every little thing. Falling in love with Israel, my country.
The foreign landscape
The ancient trees
The street signs in Hebrew, Arabic and English
CNN international
Speaking Hebrew to ‘real’ Israelis
The sense of history
Jerusalem stone

Between that visit and now, I’ve been in Israel a number of times.
Each visit less and less exotic.

This time, as I sat in the sherut from the airport to Yerusahalyim
with the sun setting golden over the Jerusalem mountains
and the moon, nearly full faintly on display,
It should be more romantic.
Instead I felt empty.

Perhaps it was not Israel that I loved
but traveling.

Since that first visit to Israel
I’ve seen more foreign landscapes
more ancient trees
street signs in many languages.
I’ve watched other tv channels
spoken in more languages
and seen more history
and more stones.

There are memories I relish more
and places where I have felt more free.
What is Israel to me?
Why do I feel so empty?

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