Sounds on the Wind

It’s 4:30 a.m. on a Monday morning and I’m up early to get in a couple hours of work before the family awakens. As I stand in front of the coffee machine in my kitchen to make a strong brew, I hear a faint sound drift in from the small, sliding window that’s been left open. It sounds like music. Or singing. Maybe someone talking. I’ve been away on vacation in the U.S. for a few weeks, so it takes a moment to register that I’m hearing the Muslim morning call to prayer. I strain to hear it, but the sound wafts away on the light Jerusalem breeze. Something about the sound is a comfort, or an intrigue. I go to the floor-to-ceiling sliding windows in the living room – the windows that face in the direction of the holy city of Bethlehem – and open them toward just enough to put my head outside. A lone stray cat sits docile next to the street. The three-quarters moon shines clear and bright over the mostly sleeping city. The only other sound are a few loud air conditioning units rattling away, but I quiet my mind and focus on the sound and this time I can hear it. The singing voices of men fades in and out, weaving its way mysteriously into the subconsciousness of the city. I breathe the cool night air that is coldest just before dawn, and let my heart swim in the beauty that is Jerusalem.

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