connectioning: intensity and rest, grief and gratitude, solitude and togetherness

heart stone found on the path at Masada

I am finding hearts everywhere.

not just heart stones, though I'm finding many more of those than normal. also heart graffiti, hearts in advertisements, heart motifs in ironwork, etc. this has been true for awhile (years and years) but it's especially true here in Israel. I am finding so many hearts!

at Masada, I had an intense moment of silence/ prayer/ solitude standing by myself in the middle of the south end just past the columbarium. I opened my eyes, glanced down, and found a heart stone directly at my feet. 

tears of thankfulness and connection and grief and love and joy. yes. 

it was intense. and it was exactly what I needed.

heart stone found at the waterfall, Ein Gedi

it struck me later on, as I walked through the throngs of people on the other side of the complex (the northern palace) that this may be an unusual thing to experience at Masada. (indeed, at almost any public place in Israel.) 

yet I am having many of these moments. finding the spaces. waiting.

yesterday, we hiked to the David waterfall at the Ein Gedi Nature Perserve and had one of the lower waterfalls all to ourselves for a good ten minutes. 

(we had to wait for a group of Israeli school kids to continue their hike and then for whatever reason the groups that came behind us choose not to stop along the way.)

and I guess even when I can't find a physical space of solitude I make my own within myself. 

at the beach in Tel Aviv on Shabbat, which was super crowded, I sat under a canopy and listened to the crowds, wholely in my own space, resting in the midst of the hustlebustle. the day before, less crowded (though still crowded), I had walked sling the beach line, picking up plastic to throw away. after finding enough plastic to fill my pockets, I found a heart stone. 

it felt as if the beach was thanking me. oh, thank you. thank you. 

the biggest heart rock (at the middle waterfall, Ein Gedi). 

later on while I was walking around Masada, in awe at the view of the Dead Sea, I briefly connected with a French speaking couple. "C'est magnifique." "Oui."

awe is awe, language is not a barrier. even when it is. 

(ok, I speak enough French to converse politely. the couple later on asked me if the water fountain we were at had good water, meaning drinkable. the signs stating it was were in Hebrew, Arabic and English but not French. "Oui, c'est bon" I cheerfully replied, happy to help. it was hot. the cold water was refreshing. if they had been asking me in a language I didn't understand, I may have understood the gist from hand signals, but it was a lot easier since I knew exactly what was being asked.)

the moments of connection, the moments of solitary recharging. these are both deeply important to me and I am finding (and creating) both as we continue our travels. 

there's only about two more months, give or take, left in this year's journey. 

a heart within a heart stone

it seems so far away, and yet it'll be upon us before we know it. 

(six more days left in Israel! R's bar mitzvah is Monday! then we're off to Scotland/ Ireland for two weeks! what an amazing trip this is!)

yes, this is an intense year. oh, how I am loving it. and oh, how I am grateful for the moments of rest within it! for the connectioning and the intensity, the beauty and the love, the frustration and the awe. for all of it, good bad and in-between. 

thank you. thank you.