If I were an Australian kangaroo...

 

Oh if I were an Australian kangaroo,so wrote a young Israeli on a piece of paper that I found stuck to a eucalyptus tree at the entrance to the old port of Sydney. The rest can be found in the epilogue .

 

The idea of a trip to Australia started to flow in my veins while I was fulfilling my son's last request. Shahar fell in the helicopter tragedy above Sha'ar Yeshuv. He left me the job of drinking a large glass of orange juice in Manali, a picturesque town in the north of India just below the range of snow-topped mountains of the Himalayia. There I vowed that as long as I could, as long as I would have the strength, I would fulfill what Shahar was unable to do. I would see with my/his eyes, smell with my/his nose, hear with my/his ears and taste with my/his tongue all the far and distant places that had always been of interest to him, places that he had always intended on visiting and seeing. There and then I decided that my youngest son would from then on become my shadow just as the words of Yehuda Poliker's song "My shadow and I set out on the way."

Until now Australia was a riddle continent, a country that had until 100 years ago been a place of punishment for criminals of Great Britain and today with her western life-style, her enormous spaces and herinteresting population has become a star country in her development for which other countries can be truly jealous.

 

Epilogue

Oh if I were an Australian kangaroo, so wrote a young Israeli ...

Sometimes, I think to myself, how would it be to live in Australia, to be born in an isolated continent, in the \pacific Ocean, in an enormouse country surrounded by seas. To grow up in a city with red roofs, to walk in green fields, to live in the house that my grandfather had built. To be the grandson of a grandfather who died a natural death.

To read an Australian newspaper and not understand what is happening in the Holy Land and why are people being killed each moment on a tiny piece of land when there is so much land around and life is so precious. To believe that all men are equal and with good will it is possible to solve every human problem.

To be an Australian and to know that the canon shoots only on the Queen's birthday. To know that the "rimon" (pomegranate and not grenade) is a fruit and will only leave a fruit stain on your clothes. To know that a sleeping bag is for field trips. To know that a widow is usually an old woman and to understand that when a neighbour says his son fell, you shoud ask if he was hurt at all.

God, you chose us above all other people, I have no complaints, I accept your will with love and pride. I would not exchange Jerusalem with Sydney and the life here for an easier one, anywhere. This is my country.

However, is it fair that Australians should die of boredom?

And maybe, if I were an Australian kangaroo I would not now belong to the family of the fallen, a family that is daily growing

 

Arie