On the other end of rockets

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I woke up at 2:30 AM to the thin blue haze of my television, news footage of multiple rockets being launched in succession from flat barren lands somewhere in Gaza.

Set against a peaceful pinkish-blue sky, the angry hiss of missile-fire – followed by a few seconds of pre-dawn serenity was eerily beautiful, as witnessed from a darkened bedroom thousands of miles away.

On the other end of the rockets, Israeli citizens huddle in bomb shelters, enveloped and cradled by rock and earth, they wait and listen to muffled explosions. Warning sirens blare in the distance, they sit in dimly-lit rooms stocked with gas masks and crackers.

In Gaza, Palestinians scramble and crawl over a pile of dusty rubble, twisted steel, and flesh, courtesy of a reflexive trigger finger and weapon system designed to target individual terrorists and minimize civilian casualties. They dig and scream, dig and scream. I begin to wonder if over time (generations actually), that the repetitive dig and scream might somehow become part of Palestinian people’s make-up, branded into their psyche, to the point where it becomes as natural an act as waving goodbye to their children as they go off to school.

It’s all too big to absorb at 230 AM, my head comfortably cushioned by 3 large pillows, my snoring yellow lab warmly wedged between my wife and I, as the thoughts of my own pending day begin to seep into my consciousness, steadfastly pushing aside and supplanting my thoughts about the other end of rockets, I reach for the remote and turn the TV off, the blue haze dissipates quickly, surrendering to the darkness I close my eyes. It is 2:36 AM.

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