Please click once or twice to see the details!
It is a tradition of the City Daily Photo group for bloggers to select and post our Photo of the Year on January 1.
I chose this one for several reasons.
It is from a hot day in August, when I was standing in the shade of the spice seller's umbrella at Beer Sheva's Bedouin market.
I found it fascinating to be standing next to these two Bedouin women.
The old one was deciding which smooth pebbles and which chunks of incense to buy to take home to her tent or hut and she was consulting or haggling with the seller in Arabic.
It hit me that yes! -- now I was really living in the Negev, home to some 200,000 Bedouin.
(I had just moved from the green Jerusalem Hills area down to the town of Meitar.)
And yes! -- the Negev was once part of the ancient Incense (or Spice) Route.
As in a mirage I started imagining caravans of camels traversing the deserts, laden with frankincense and myrrh!
. . . Which brings us to this season, now winter, when the three Magi are en route to Bethlehem carrying exactly those good-smelling gifts (so according to Christian tradition), arriving on Epiphany.
And just now, when much of the world (but not so much Israel) is watching the clock tick down to midnight and reflecting on the passing of time and wondering what future time will bring, I look at this photo and realize the image that many Bedouin still exude -- one of timelessness.
Wishing you all a blessed new year.