It has been 5 months since I have written anything longer than a caption for a post on Facebook or Instagram. The two months of February and March I was mum and it wasn't until the end of April before I was able to share some images of nascent food prep - building a salad and making a soup. My presence more or less disappeared.
I certainly didn't plan this or even anticipate that this year would be so challenging. In January when I wrote my last post on Tu B'Shvat, my favorite holiday, I was looking forward to continuing the work on my cookbook and with Purim just around the corner, I expected to be baking hamentashen as I do every year.
But the Fates said otherwise. In February I went to see my doctor in New York. After living 16 years with a artificial heart valve he told me that the valve had suffered catastrophic damage and that I needed surgery - not that afternoon - but essentially immediately.
What followed was a whirlwind of tests, cancelled flights, temporary rental agreements and surreal moment(s) of statis - waiting for the date to arrive. Three weeks filled with travelling to see our parents - in part because we had originally planned it that way - and in part because I didn't know whether I would see them again.
The surgery happened. The tubes are gone. I only take Tylenol for occasional discomfort. Three months on, I am "healed". But my focus is not back and I don't feel the same. This was my third time around and it's starting to hit me. I am just beginning to process the events that I experienced at the time of the procedure, The events that I could only survive and not think about.
I toyed with staying in New York and not coming back to Tel Aviv. But I don't really belong there anymore. Coming home has been the best thing, the healthiest thing, for me. My Hebrew is shot. It has decided to hide in the back of my brain until I wrestle with the rest of life. That's okay. I will get there.
I've returned to the sea. I've started to experiment again. Yesterday, I wrote down a new recipe, which makes me very happy. My plants are recovering. The tomatoes are so sweet.