When I was young, and used to suffer from periods of great sadness, I would often go to the sea. I’d find a good seat, and look out at the water for a while, watching the waves come in… and getting the feel of the mood. I’d look out across the water, all the way to the horizon, and get a little perspective regarding the world; what was big, and what was little… and what was too big to take it all in… because I knew that the sea kept on going, even past the horizon. And as I was contemplating the meeting of land and sea, I would become aware of more and more around me. I would listen to the sounds; first of the waves hitting the shore, and then, of the more subtle sounds, the moans of the wooden structures near the sea, boats bumping or rubbing against their berths… and then the sounds of birds and other living things in the vicinity. After that, I’d become aware of the salty smell of the place, and begin to discern the subtleties of the colors in the water. Sometimes I’d see living things in the water, and get the feeling I could smell the fish. I’d take a long walk along the shore, and commune with leaves and grasses along the way. I’d keep up soaking more and more of what was there, while the pulse of the surf calmed my nerves till eventually, the sensory experience would overwhelm the sadness in my heart and soul, and humbled by the majesty of nature, I would forget about myself, and my own personal problems.
How wonderful it was, then, yesterday, to visit the sea, after all the years that have gone by… not to find consolation, but to visit with an old friend… without any requests or expectations, but the memory of having loved the place. I had started out my vacation, enjoying the gentle hills of the Galilee, and found myself climbing the high ridges as they approach our northern border, getting close to Lebanon. I’d looked back from the heights, at the agricultural valleys below… seeing the fields through a pretty thick haze, that made it seem like something of a dream… and walked through forests, and rocky stretches in which more modest vegetation found its place between rocks and boulders. I’d toured around familiar places, enjoying good memories as I recognized areas that I’d known more intimately once, looking out the window of my car, stopping here and there to walk and visit with trees and bushes and brushes, in between visits with old friends… getting older like myself. And now, here I was at the sea shore, having come full to overflowing, and grateful for the way things had worked out. And here, once again, had found myself carried by the wonder of the sea, to a more expansive perspective, and an appreciation greater than what I could have asked for, of this world of nature, and the infinity of stories of life… and the gracious environment that supports us.
And one of the advantages of our little country, is that within a little time, one can move from the plains to the hills, from the mountains to the sea… It is all so close, and yet, one can step out and then find endless worlds, one within the other, going deeper and deeper, or higher and higher according to one’s inclination. And as familiar as it is, at times… it is a different trip every time… and it has gotten better… and keeps on getting better with the passage of years, and with the harmony of many experiences. A few steps can turn into a lifetime of experiences. A moment can go on for ever. I have some pictures to share with you, that will eventually find their way to the blog, some of them, at least… and I have some stories to tell… But the essence is this: the more we open up, the more we can receive… and there is more out there than we can ever know… but it is the greatest joy, knowing that it goes on… way past the horizon.
My best wishes to my readers and friends… may you have a beautiful weekend, or a beautiful Sabbath… or a beautiful hour, whatever you choose… we shall meet again.