Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Salvaging the Treasure

I just returned to Jerusalem from a trip to the north - the Sea of Galilee area. I spent 2 nights with my friends Orna and Yair in Rosh Pinna. I spent all day yesterday at their weaving and art gallery in Safed/Tsfat, the highest (elevation wise) town in Israel. It's a beautiful old city.

Yair is involved in an amazing restoration project. He, and his wife Orna, restored the current site in the old city that houses their weaving studio and gallery the Canaan Gallery. Now, he's involved in a larger project to restore a large complex of buildings surrounding a courtyard. The courtyard contains a fig tree that is over 100 years old. The name of the set of shops is the "Fig Tree Courtyard."

I got the grand tour of the renovation project. Since I was here a year ago the progress is simply astounding.

I'm so impressed that my friend is turning a pile of abandoned rubble into something so beautiful and alive. It is an ancient site... that had fallen into ruin. No one could see the possibility. It takes special eyes to look at something that has fallen apart or disintegrated and see a grand vision of what 'could be.' My friend Yair has that gift.

In a world where everyone wants something new, better, different and improved... it is a lost art to convert the discarded into a treasure.

We could all take a lesson from Yair... to train our eyes to see the possibility and then to be willing to do the hard work necessary to bring the vision to glorious life.

Here is a picture of the fig tree courtyard a year ago... and today. Still much work remains to be done, but it is coming along.

The Fig Tree Courtyard - 1 year ago

The Fig Tree Courtyard - Today

Here is my friend Yair, in his cafe, making me my morning espresso.

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