Exploring our World by Foot – Going to Israel – Rolling with the Flow

 

To Realize One’s Destiny is a Person’s Only Obligation

–        From the Alchemist

 

Will we stay, or will we go?

For me, uncertainty is a major challenge because the future rarely turns out exactly as planned.  Over time, with lots of scratching, screaming and resisting, I am learning to embrace change or uncertainty, because it makes life much easier.  Looking back, many times the unexpected turned out to be a good thing.

Yikes! We already purchased our airline tickets and paid for AirBnb’s and now the Coronavirus is spreading around the world.  We are closely monitoring the situation because we want to reduce the risk of becoming sick or quarantined overseas.

As of now, we are still planning to move forward with our trip to Israel subject to any major new developments.

In talking with a Doctor, he gave the green light to travel to Israel because we are healthy (people with compromised immune systems are at the greatest risk).  He believes the virus is probably already underreported.  It is likely that most every healthy person will be mildly impacted, no matter where we live.  In monitoring the situation in Israel, they have a few cases and the country is taking strong measures to minimize the risk.  I have also found that the airlines do not recirculate the air and employ fairly effective filters.  In our day to day lives, we will continue to follow healthcare recommendations by washing hands and other practices to reduce the risk. Whatever the situation, we will roll with the flow.

Why did we pick Israel as our next destination to explore by foot?  After several spiritual encounters, I continue to search for understanding and connection with spirit.  It is hard to match the history and all the sacred sites in this compact country.

If all goes well, in a couple of days, we head down to Orlando to catch our flight to Israel via New York.  My wife Morgan teaches nursing and healthcare in the High Schools, so we are scheduled to travel during the week of the K-12 spring break.

In researching this destination, we have discovered the geography is very diverse, with desert conditions in the south, and snow-capped mountains in the north. This country is bounded to the north by Lebanon, the northeast by Syria, the east by Jordan and the West Bank, and to the southwest by Egypt.  We are pleased to report, the  Israeli’s really love hiking.  There are numerous opportunities to trek on a wide variety of outdoor trails throughout the country.

The one path of real interest is The Yam lYam Hike (Sea to Sea).  This is a popular hiking trail crossing the country from west to east, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Galilee.  It is described as crossing some of Israel’s most beautiful scenery in the Western Galilee and Upper Galilee regions. Unfortunately, due to our limited time, we must choose between hiking across Israel or exploring the sacred historical sites.

Since discovering that “spiritually there is really something out there, and in here” we made the decision to experience the history and the confluence of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.  It is our intention to walk through and honor these holy sites.  The Knights of Templar also originated from these same places.  I try to imagine walking on the same paths as those whose lives made such a great impact on humanity.

If all goes according to our plans, we will start with a hike in Tel Aviv.  We intend to walk through the Yarkon Park to the Tel Aviv Port, then turn south and walk along the length of the boardwalk to the Jaffa Port.  Afterward, we travel to Jerusalem where we will meet our guide who has roots in Tallahassee.  He has suggested we embark on a walking tour of ancient Jerusalem including the Mt. of Olives, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, City of David and Western Wall.

If there is time we will travel south to Masada in the desert and check out the Dead Sea.

In life, nothing ever turns out exactly as expected.  As a result, we will roll with whatever is the outcome.  I recently reread the Alchemist.  Its message “in order to live out our dreams, we must embrace the uncertainty of life, so to rise to meet our own unique destiny”.  This sounds like a great plan.

I now understand it was an unexpected trek across Northern Spain that made me realize my calling.  This destiny is to promote peace by connecting with different people, in different cultures throughout the world.   Once we find we are more alike than different, we find pathways to peace.

Will we stay or will we go?  Either way, we will embrace the unforeseen and roll with the flow.  I hope you stay tuned.

I urge you to grab a family member, or friend, or four-legged buddy and go outside for a walk.  Talk about times the unexpected turned out to be a good thing.  What are paths that can help you find your personal destiny?

Are you in?

Gregg Patterson

gregg.patterson@yahoo.com