Yesterday we climbed a mountain.
It was a little, but important mountain. A mountain called Har Tavor.
Things didn’t go as planned. At all. There were minor misadventures at the beginning, middle, and end of day. And as the organizer of the hike, I felt every single one. The trail was blocked by muddy roads, causing confusion and delays. Our climb up the mountain was punctuated by unexpected obstacles, and we missed some of the sights at the top. There was mud, and there were slippery rocks. And that wasn’t all.
But there were small miracles too.
There were the plentiful, colorful wildflowers, petals spread wide to worship the sun, all interspersed with prickly, savory asparagus.
There was the wonderful family that surprised us at the top of our mountain – friends of some of our group. Yankele, Yonah, and Leslie greeted us with a proper feast, fresh from their farm at the foot of Mount Tavor. They told us stories of their moshav, where Yitzchak Rabin and Yigal Alon had gone to school. And they delighted us with fresh picked clementines and Manzanillo olives. When Yankele, with his wrinkles, long grey ponytail, and warm smile, saw how much I enjoyed olives, he stuffed the leftovers into my backpack, with warm wishes for our journey.
At the end of the day, one member of our group had to get back to her car early. And so, another hiker generously hurried ahead with her, skipping the wine and cheese picnic at the end (and some say this is the best part!).
We ended the day suddenly and surprisingly (don’t ask me to explain), in a field of cyclamen, under a canopy of trees, a speckled, white cow and her little calf munching on pink petals in the background. And over a glass of Tavor wine (or two, or three), we celebrated the changes we had gone through as we climbed the mountain that day.
Our small journey began and ended with mishaps and miracles. Showing me that our true goal as human beings isn’t perfection. Rather, it is to see serendipity, and accept God’s plan for our path through this world.
We tackled a mountain that day, and we climbed to the very top. Then, we walked back down the other side, carrying the lessons we learned forward into our everyday lives.