Thursday, 11 November 2010

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Om Shalom!

Ariel, Israel

My happy fate to walk Israel had been sealed when trekking the waterfront yesterday.
Today marks day 2. Ekavirya a soon father-to-be with twins, became my partner for today's walk. Our first hour was a hard pace. The momentum kept up until the last hour as we lost our bearings when beach ended and cliffs and fencing took over.

"Never trust a coastline", I concluded.

Our steady clip allowed us to pass hundreds of walkers, runners and cyclists, many of whom emerged from the affluent condos and hotels nearby. The best I could do as far as outreach is concerned was to send a big smile, offer a nod of greeting and an occasional utterance of "Shalom".

I am committed to my prescribed chanting on beads and, I could not interrupt that very often. Judging by the looks on people faces my robes were a surprise to them. The markings for an apparent cross country trail were obscured. Ekaviriya and I came upon this national park called "Apollonia". The edge of the park which is fenced off revealed ancient ruins. The Greeks were here. We then had to divert on to semi-desert roads. We were not in the city any longer.

I have to hand it to technology sometimes. If Ekavirya did not had a cell phone, we could easily been lost sheep. In the dry desert we noticed multitudes of white-shelled snails latching onto long green grasses they resembled cotton plants from a distance. I viewed some birds, new species to my eyes.

In the air you could smell the most aromatic wildflowers.

Finally we closed the curtains to the walking aspect of Day 2 with aloe vera drink, humus, olives, tahini, avocado salad and a local take on kichari (an Indian staple).

This brings me to this point; I see Indian and Israeli cultures to be so compatible. A friend back in Canada who calls himself "Mister Hinjew" (born Jewish and adapted to Vaishnava ways) once told me that young Israelis love visiting India. I asked, "Why?"

"Because India is a place where Israelis won't be judged", he said calmly.

It is unfortunate that there is all this bodily differentiations. In Israel you are Jewish or Palestinian or whatever, and you may not get along with each other.

Oh, when will that day come, when we identify as spirit souls?

I wish we could learn from the wildflowers that humbly co-exist.

16 KM

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