The Key to Life and Living
A very favorite story of mine
Is about two seas in Palestine
One is a sparkling sapphire jewel,
Its waters are clean and clear and cool,
Along its shores children play
And travelers seek it on their way,
And nature gives so lavishly
Her choicest gems to the Galilee.

But 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
And nature shuns this barren ground.

Both seas receive the Jordan's flow,
The water is just the same, we know,
But one of the seas, like liquid sun,
Can warm the hearts of everyone,
While farther south another sea
Is 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,
For every drop that the Jordan gives
Becomes a laughing wave that lives
For the Galilee gives back each drop,
Its waters flow and never stop.

And in the laughing, living sea
That takes and gives so generously
We find the way to Life and Living
Is not in Keeping, But in Giving!

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

-- Helen Steiner Rice

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