Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Our second day in Jordan was spent at the Roman/Greek ruins site of Jerash in the Biblical hills of Gilead. It was impressive, and the weather was perfect for exploring, with bright sunshine when we arrived and then cloud cover throughout the day. It even waited to rain until we left. Abbey loved stepping on the cobble stoned path down colonnaded street that was marked by the ruts of ancient wagons and chariots that had passed over thousands of years ago. The pillars of the temples were almost surreal, baked with the vegetation and weather of centuries. There is nothing more elegant than a moss covered Roman pillar, and the perfection of this site made Brett's architectural heart soar. He testified that the Romans really knew their design.

Speaking of Brett, even before we entered the ruins, he had his eye on some Arab head gear and asked one of the many salesmen to help him try on the shmagh (also called keffiyeh). This red and white one is the traditional pattern for Jordanian men. He did buy it on the way out of Jerash and then embarrassed me and Abbey at Petra by actually wearing it. I will tell you that story later. I snapped the other photo below as we left Jerash. The colors of these shops are amazing. I couldn't help wonder which one of my friends would want belly dancing apparel for Christmas. Maybe you will be the lucky one!

Two of my favorite places at Jerash were the south theatre and the north theatre. We were able to sit and enjoy some Bedouin music in the north theatre, and in the south theatre Abbey helped demonstrate the amazing acoustics these theatres create.

Then there was the Temple of Artemis, or, as the Romans and I prefer to call it, the Temple of Diana. It was built between AD 150 and 170 and had 12 columns (only 11 are still standing). At this temple there is a column that can be moved and it doesn't topple over. There were many Jordanian people there helpful to show us the trick by putting a spoon at the base of the pillar and then pushing on it. The spoon would move up and down. It was amazing. That is also the site where many people get their picture taken between the 5 columns - I did it too. There was a young man there named Ali who was quite a hustler. He helped us with the moving column, told us all the history of the temple, took our pictures, and then ended up selling me a pearl and silver necklace. When he found out my name was Dianna, he knew he could make an easy sell.

All day I was struck with the evidence of the ages all around me. It was difficult to comprehend how many lives and how many years had passed among those stones. I couldn't help but think of the many labourers who chiseled and carved the beauties that were still evidence of their skill. It made we wonder what I am building now that will last through the ages. I thought of my family and the evidence of my skills as a mother. I feel confident that people will be blessed by my handiwork many years from now through the children and grandchildren that I have helped bring about, not through any personal talents, but through the great blessing of parenting with the Gospel. The foundation of my family was long ago established by related craftsmen and women. I am grateful for them, and I hope my progeny will be able to call me blessed. Personal and world history is an overwhelming topic to dive into. It was amazing to do it at Jerash.

1 comment:

Kristy said...

You ARE blessed, Mom. I love you.

Wow, wow, WOW! That video is so so cool. Thanks for so artfully recording, in pictures and words, this great experience!