The Key to Living is Giving

by Helen Steiner Rice

A very favorite story of mine
is about Two Seas in Palestine.

One is a sparkling, sapphire jewel.
Its waters are clean, clear and cool.
Along its shores the children play,
and travelers seek it on their way.
And Nature gives so lavishly
her choicest gems to the Galilee

But on to the south the Jordan flows
into a sea where nothing grows.
No splash of fish, no singing bird,
no children’s laughter is ever heard.
The air hangs heavy all around
as Nature shuns this barren ground.

Both seas receive the Jordan’s flow.
The water is just the same, we know.
But one of those seas, like liquid sun,
can warm the hearts of everyone.
While to the south the other sea
lays dead and dark and miserly.
It takes each drop the Jordan brings,
and to each drop it fiercely clings.
It hoards and holds the Jordan’s waves
until, like shackled, captured slaves
the fresh, clear Jordan turns to salt,
and dies within the Dead Sea’s vault.

But the Jordan flows on rapturously
as it enters and leaves the Galilee
Every drop the Jordan gives
becomes a laughing wave that lives.
For the Galilee gives back each drop;
its waters flow and never stop.

And in this laughing, living sea
that takes and gives so generously,
we find the way to life, and living.
It’s not in keeping, but in giving

Yes, there are two Palestinian seas
and mankind is fashioned after these!