Sameness. It’s what makes time blend together in an unmemorable fog.
You don’t remember all of the details of a hundred morning commutes. You don’t remember each night you spent watching Netflix. And you probably aren’t even cognizant when you brush your teeth twice a day.
Even loftier pursuits can fall prey to the plague of sameness. Your run on the treadmill is a useful accomplishment, but it’s certainly not a memorable one. Your job, your housework, your trips to the grocery store: these things are all necessary parts of life. But as you think back on these days filled with routine tasks, time may just blend together. This lack of things to remember effectively shortens your experience of the past.
Novelty, on the other hand, stretches time. It may not always be efficient, and sometimes, not at all desirable, but variety makes our lives seem richer and our time more memorable. This is one of the many reasons I love exploring Israel’s outdoors.
Israel is a land full of incredible variety, especially for outdoor enthusiasts.
On the coasts, there are quiet river to beach trails, flat, sandy, and full of flowers unique to the area. Hikes here feel like a mini vacation, filled with sea breeze and shell discoveries. The ocean lies waiting at the end of the trail, sometimes warm and sometimes freezing cold. Throughout the seasons, new flowers blossom by the beach.
Travel south to the desert, and you’ll find yourself in an entirely different type of terrain. There are white rock canyons, red mountains, and colored sands. In the desert, you’ll meet ibex, hyraxes, little mammals, reptiles, and birds. Towards the Dead Sea you can scout out a desert oasis, where waterfalls gush over alabaster stone.
A few hours north in the lower Galilee, rolling green mountains covered in flowers await in the winter and spring. A thick fog hangs in the air on rainy days. Streams flow through valleys and cheery, purple flowers blow in the breeze. It feels like a scene out of a storybook.
Then there are the Jerusalem Mountains, full of twisty forest trails and purple mountain views. The Jerusalem Lowlands nearby feature low flower fields, herbs to pick, and hidden structures, remnants of our Biblical past. In the Carmel, different geological forces create striking mountains and low valleys, green all year-round. The list of varied terrain goes on and on.
In Israel, we are lucky enough to live in a place where there is lots of variety. Hiking in our Land (even as frequently as I do) means that there is always something memorable to see. From season to season and place to place, our Land just can’t be called monotonous
Each hike here can be a memorable experience, a whole new world of novelty and beauty.