Perhaps I fooled myself into thinking that since I started writing a bit before the beginning of this pilgrimage, I would have primed the pump of my soul and the words would just flow like water from a well. Wrong! Maybe I thought that now that I am 2 1/2 years older, well into late middle age, that wisdom and profundity would spring forth from my fingers to the computer screen. Wrong again!
Instead, it's just little ol' me, trying to say something, anything, that might come close to capturing the feelings, the evocations that arise as I see places again for the first time and as I for the first time encounter a place I've never seen before.
What is occurring to me most is that I knew how special my time was when I came here in 2012, but I think I had no idea how rare it was. Most everyone only has a tour guide, a bus, 20 minutes or less to take in a site when they are here. We had a car, just 4 of us, and the luxury to linger as long as we chose. Or if something was uninteresting, we could decide collectively that we had had enough and move on to the next adventure of our choosing. This is a definitively different sort of experience. But there are blessings in this "on a tour bus with 28 of my best friends" experience, too.
The blessings include things like having an awesome roommate (Nice to be with my husband for consecutive nights), watching and listening to guide talks and leader rhythms as I figure out if I could do this for a group in the future, seeing Hebrew and Arabic signs and advertisements, hearing my first call to prayer yesterday afternoon, communion in the new chapel at Migdal, beer with a friend to prevent myself from napping in the afternoon and more. Wow, all of this on just the first day.
I'm carrying prayers, hopes, dreams, conversations, curiosities, knowledge and a whole lot more. I have brought all of you on this journey with me. I hope there will be a time when I can pay tribute to all of you and all of these experiences with some words that are worthy of the calling to which I have been called.