live parking

Somehow, between the 5 year-old grandson and his very big almost-14 year old sister, over the course of Rosh Hashanah, the question arose about why a park, where you run around, has the same name as the verb “to park”, as in, to stop running around. The little one came up with some convoluted ideas; the older and very wise sister played along with her usual equanimity. Since this was on Rosh Hashanah itself and we don’t use  electronic devices, I actually went to our enormous dictionary. There, I learned that it’s not about what you do in a park, but the act of enclosure or stoppage that makes it valuable. A park is to keep things safe.


Middle English: from Old French parc, from medieval Latin parricus, of Germanic origin; related to German Pferch ‘pen, fold’, also to paddock. The word was originally a legal term designating land held by royal grant for keeping game animals: this was enclosed and therefore distinct from a forest or chase, and (also unlike a forest) had no special laws or officers. A military sense ‘space occupied by artillery, wagons, stores, etc., in an encampment’ (late 17th century) is the origin of the verb sense (mid 19th century) and of sense 2 of the noun (early 20th century).

One may venture that the children running around today are similar to the animals of yore. But I also learned the phrases “dead parking” and “live parking”.

dead parking

Long-term, unattended storage of a vehicle.

live parking

The parking of a vehicle while the motor remains running, and usually with the driver or a passenger remaining inside.

Laguna Beach, California. Do you see this guy’s knees? It cannot be comfortable.
So, of course, I am using this as a vehicle (sorry not sorry) as a message for the holidays. A self-message, as it were, if nothing more. How do we do more than dead parking?
Are we just looking to impress, rather than perform?
Beverly Hills, CA. ‘Nuff said?
But how do we do more than live? How do we move from parking to moving?
But also, of course, how to actually get somewhere?
Old City of Jerusalem
Or are we just touring?
Along the Banias in the Galilee
Or, just looking backwards…
Are we learning anything by following others?
Learning how to drive in Israel can be very hairy, especially on these hairpin turns. Steep learning curve, indeed!

Here’s what I learned about driving this summer from this amazing woman.

Yes, that’s a kid on her lap. While driving a 4×4 off-road in the Golan Heights, talking to her son to make sure she is putting into 4-wheel drive.

I should add that the little one on her lap was her grandson, who she was taking care of because her daughter had just been released from the hospital. My daughter had tried holding him, but he was being pretty miserable. There was another granddaughter sitting next to me in the second seat. I had our granddaughter with me.

[The men and the other bigger kids were in the back in the bed. ISHI informs me that this is also a conundrum–when is a bed something you could not sleep in? That’s a whole other experience. I think they learned “Protect your back.”]

Don’t be afraid. Safe doesn’t really exist. Embrace life. Trust yourself. Enjoy Life Seriously. Because if you allow yourself to see new things, there’s no end to the amazing things you can experience.

Overlooking the Kinneret from the Golan Heights

Don’t remain parked in the park.


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