“Reeds shaken with the wind...”
+ cf. Matthew 11:7
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The olive tree is always green, summer (see left) and winter. A relief in lands with little rain. The flowers do not stand out very much, but soon after the spring-
In the weeks preceding the harvest people hope for sufficient rain, that the oil may flow richly. For the olive harvest will have to provide both olives and oil for the whole of the coming year.
Green olives, picked just before they start to colour are considered a special delicacy, carefully prepared according to traditional recipes -
But most of the olives are pressed to obtain the main treasure: olive oil -
Winter in Biblical lands means some much needed rain, as well as cold weather. Although snow and ice are usually only found higher up, in the mountains.
During the hours that it is pooring with rain, hardly anybody will venture outdoors. And while in other seasons the doors usually remain open most of the day, now is a time to leave the door shut and gather around the fire.
A season spent mostly with those ‘of the house’, a time to be quiet, or to share some stories … provided you have gathered your wood in time.
Winter falls at the end of Christmas Lent. Many Saints in this fasting period are celebrated festively, so there are many ‘oil days’. And during the whole of the fast olives are a favorite food, nourishing and strengthening -
In the cycle of the seasons, Christmas coincides with a short break in the agricultural year, just after mid-
Each country has it’s own traditional ways to decorate the house, and each area has it’s own traditional foods -
But most characteristically, Christmas brings songs and good wishes -
> See also: Christmas cards
The Jordan is in fact rather a tiny river. Along the shores of this small and, at times, muddy stream grow lush high reeds. At some places just a narrow border, at other places they form substantial reed-
Here a glimpse of the reeds near the site of the Baptism of the Lord -