Healing Breath

October 31, 2021

“The neighbors across the street don’t talk with us anymore,” Adam told me, worried that we did something wrong. My theory is that it just got cold, and everyone got inside. When we moved to our new house in mid-September, the couple with the baby spent most of the day on their lawn. When we walked down the street, we met many neighbors sitting on their front porches. They were always happy to see us, to hear Eden’s imaginative stories and to entertain us for a few minutes, until out of politeness, I would urge Eden to move on.

In Asheville these front porches are called “breathing parches”. It turns out that Asheville began to develop when people with various illness came here to breathe fresh mountain air to heal. In each house, a “breathing parch” has been set. It is basically a normal parch, only it is on the ground floor and allows for prolonged sitting in the open air.

like the founders of Asheville, I came here sick. There were moments I was sure I was going to die before I could get to Asheville. When my therapist asked me – “What do you think you will get in Asheville that you don’t have in Israel?”, I told her that I felt I was about to drown. I waited to get to Asheville to lift my head above the water and take a deep, life-saving inhale. Ever since we got here, I have been breathing the air of the oldest mountains in the world, they called me here. With every breath, I heal.

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