I can’t escape it. I’m a born adventurer. I love to travel.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been traveling around with my husband and children to one exciting place after another. We’ve seen beautiful sights: glaciers, mountains, and geysers. We’ve been to farms, towns, and cities. I love seeing new places and discovering different parts of the world. It thrills me to experience the cultures, customs, and character traits of each new place.
But I’m also completely homesick.
When I see carved out canyons and mountains, I’m reminded of the Southern Negev. I think about what our own grand mountains would look like if they too received a steady diet of summer rain. When spending Shabbat on a random farm in the middle of nowhere (no Wifi, no stores nearby), I’m reminded of spending Shabbat on our best friends’ farm in the Judean mountains. Sometimes we stay in a guest house on their property over Shabbat. When we open the doors to the patio in the morning, we encounter a soul inspiring view of the Arugot Valley and dramatic, jagged mountains. Middle of Nowhere, U.S.A. can’t really compete with Arugot Farm in Judea.
When I meet wild elk hanging out in a town square, I think of Mitzpe Ramon and its herds of ibex. Every place has its own exotic animals. In Israel, ours happen to be Biblical.
I miss the taste of our water, the scent of our air. I miss the way every stream and puddle of water in our Land seems precious, like jewels sewn into a silk cloth. I love the gratitude that living in Israel instills in me. I look forward to driving down the highway between cities and not seeing one super-size store after the next. Instead, in Israel, wilderness and farmland surround us.
I miss our waterfall oases and friendly desert songbirds. I can’t wait to return to a place where history, holiness, and hiking are interwoven into one artful tapestry.
I know that I’m completely biased, but that’s okay.
Israel is my Land, my country. And I’m grateful for the fact that I can see and recognize its own unique beauty. Even when I’m off exploring other parts of our beautiful world, my heart remains at home in Israel.