We chose the Hayarkon River as a wounded place for 2 reasons. First, it has gone through periods where it has been extremely polluted and toxic. The second reason is because of its relationship to rowers, in particular Jasmine Feingold, who flipped over in her skiff 3 years ago, was submerged in the water for 5 minutes, and was lucky enough to stay alive. She is a miracle. Besides going to college, she has returned to rowing on The Hayarkon several times a week (and is competing and winning in rowing events).
We met at the Hayarkon at 6pm. Someone played the drums to mark the beginning of the ceremony. It was an intimate group…8 of us. We first made the bird…which was quite a fun project. I gave a small introduction about the event. Then Danny, Jasmine’s coach (and at one time internationally competitive rower), spoke about growing up on the Hayarkon and the important role it has played in the history of Israel…going back to King Solomon’s time. His talk was informative and compelling.
I asked Jasmine to speak with us about the accident and the aftermath of it. Quickly it became an informal discussion about the events, her lack of any memories of the accident and for a long time afterwards. Yet, even when she cognitively was still impaired, Danny got her onto the river rowing quickly. I think he said she was on the water in less than a month after the accident.
When discussing past events, Jasmine was surprised to hear about some of what had taken place in her recovery. This informal gathering appears to have been an eye opener for her; without sounding too clinical, I think it was also therapeutic. She has been so busy working on her cognitive and physical rehabilitation that she is now just beginning to deal with the emotional impact it has had on her
After 30-45 minutes of discussion, we went to the banks of the Hayarkon. I said a prayer of thanks for Jasmine and her mother, Elizabeth (who has been an incredibly strong and magnificent healer and life force for Jasmine). Each of us grabbed handfuls of petals and threw them in. After a few more throws, Jasmine went with her boyfriend, Guy, onto the bridge, and threw petals down into the river. It was a magical sight.
After the ceremony, we opened a bottle of champagne, along with some cake, and celebrated. It was clear that this event had impacted all of us in a profound way.