This was the view from my living room window earlier today. Something about it drew me outside for a clearer look. And this is what I saw…
Clouds. Aren't they magnificent? They're so intriguing to me, with their depth and softness against the blue sky. The dramatic contrast of deep, dark color and light within the clouds themselves.
I’ve always thought a cloudless sky - though amazing it it’s own right - was sort of… boring. Reminding me of a stiflingly hot day in the Sacramento valley. Clouds bring refreshment and excitement.
Arriving on the wind they call out and say, “Come! We have something to share!” Then proceed to demonstrate their acrobatic shape changing talents. Flashing a bit of silver lining they dance with the sunrise. If I dare to blink, suddenly they’re cavorting with the sunset. Before I can discern their next move they’ve vanished mysteriously into another realm.
If I fell into them, I imagine they could cradle me upon their pouffy softness.
Rain and snow, sleet and hail. Not to mention those lightening strikes! Yes, they bring it all. And shade. Blessed relief on that hot day.
Besides, Danny and Bing would have no song to sing if there were no clouds to bring the snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!
And life would be mean if it weren’t for lean Gene gleefully Singin’ in the Rain!
Yes, it is nice to have a clear sky, swept and rinsed clean after a deep rain. Courtesy of… clouds. Leaves a nice fresh palette for them to display their glory and talent.
Yes, bring on, bring on the clouds!
The swimmers have returned.. splash and dive. Another beautiful day in paradise. Conversations with our brothers and sisters from the Netherlands. We were surrounded by them last evening at dinner. Ron and I were the only two Americans at a table of 10. Their Dutch accented voices sharing their hearts and perspectives...
"We don't want either! [Trump or Hillary]", with which we agreed.
"We are still bridge builders between our brothers and sisters at home and our Israel homeland." Again, we agreed.
"It's a difficult place to live, here in Israel. It's not time to invest in the land." Well... I'm praying this last statement is a translational issue. I believe if it were time to live in Israel, we would live in Israel. However, it is time to invest in the land to whatever degree we are able and allowed.
We did enjoy much talk and sharing about our families and learning how to say thank you in Dutch, "danke something"... I wish I could remember. And your welcome.. which I can't even remember a hint of how it goes.
Never the less, our hearts connected as much as possible during an hour and a half dinner time. It was so special - a stretch to understand each other, but so sweet. This is the land of prophesy. I can't seem to forget that. Our very presence here demonstrates that.
It's now lunch time on Shabbat (October 29, 2016). This morning we enjoyed reading the Torah together, all sitting in a huge double-ringed circle. Different people reading different sections. Here in Israel. Where it's all about that.
We have a rest time now, a Shabbat, and little pockets of people have gathered here and there for Bible study.
Julia and Ron have both been down with colds and feel pretty poor. It's a good day for them to rest and recuperate as much as possible. Zel and Julia are staying in a room near us and they will be down in a little bit so we can enjoy lunch together.
It's been hard to grasp all that I've experienced in the last 2.5 weeks. Hard to put into words. I can rattle off each event, each activity, but I'm finding it difficult to get down into the feeling of it all. It will take some processing. These are just odds and ends...
I thought I'd share these rambling thoughts I strung together last week while we were in Vancouver, BC...
Downtown Vancouver, Early Morning
Its Wednesday, September 10, 2014. I'm sitting in the floor-to-ceiling corner windows of our condo at the Worldmark, The Canadian, on Hornby St., in downtown Vancouver, BC, Canada. I'm gazing out over the city 22 floors above the fray.
For most people, today is a work day, but for me, it's day 5 of our vacation. It's 7:30AM. I got up about 6:30AM. I didn't have to get up so early. It is my vacation, after all. But for some reason, it's easier to get up earlier when I don't have to. I look forward to getting up early when I am not obligated to anyone but myself. I don't have to plan ahead for work. I don't have to pack a lunch or fix a breakfast. I just have to hang out with my cup of coffee and myself. I love solitude. Especially in the morning
I've often wondered what it would be like living in such a saturated urban setting as this. I imagine a condo with a nice terrace, the kind that's tucked safely within the structure of the building, but with a view out across the city toward the water, or right on the water even. There would be enough space on my terrace for several potted trees and some flowers with comfortable, loung-y furniture. It would be partially covered so I could bundle up and sit out and watch it rain or snow, and partially uncovered so I could warm myself in the sun when I wanted to. I would write out there on my terrace.
It would be conveniently located so I could walk every where I needed to go and leave the car at home. I love the freedom of walking where I need to go. It's simple. I would just need to remember when shopping to choose carefully for I will need to hand carry my purchases back home. Or I could invest in a rolling cart - be one of those rolling cart ladies I see around.
Ideally my condo would face east/south/west so I can wake up with the sun and follow it through my day. Inside, there would be two bedrooms and two bathrooms. One would be a master bedroom for Ron and I with an en-suite, good size closet and perhaps a cozy private sitting area, the other room would be an office/guest room with a Murphy bed. The living/dining/kitchen would be one large room with a view out the floor-to-ceiling windows toward my city/water view and sliding glass doors opening to the terrace. The decor would be my current favorite, a balance of modern and ancient/rustic.
There is just one thing, the city is a constantly noisy place and I am truly a country girl at heart. Traffic, garbage trucks, numerous sirens, and this one hot-rod car that regularly zooms up and down Hornby several times a day; I would definitely need regular forays into nature (perhaps even a cabin on the edge of the land where it meets the sea). But there's a vibrancy in the city that wakes me up and keeps me alert, makes me think, causes me to want to learn new things, keeps me on my toes. Living in a simple condo type manner, I think, would allow me to pursue some of the ventures I've been wanting to explore for a very long time; like learning a new language and getting my writing career off the ground, to name two.
Would I be able to find a writing place within my condo? I'm sure I could carve out a little space. I've done so today. I love this little spot in the corner window. I've learned that I don't need a lot of space, just some emotional space within a space. Just enough removed from the fray, yet still connected to the whole of it.
And it's funny-strange, yet true, that though I am definitely refreshed and restored and nurtured by nature, I tend to be distracted by it's beauty and feel a strange longing to possess it, as if I could; or feel it wants to possess me. While in the city, somehow I'm a part of it yet anonymous enough to be free of it and it's possessions, whether they be physical or emotional.
Both are inside me. The city and the country. The contained and the wild. They are both a part of who I am. I will always crave the mountains and the water but I'm feeling, and admitting, that there's a part of me that also longs for the city.
Like most humans, I think I want it all, but I'm also learning that "all" is not what I really want. What I really want is freedom from complicated living, freedom from the pursuit of "things", freedom from debt, freedom to pursue my dreams without being pushed and pulled around by what I've formerly believed that I "should" be doing.
My priorities have gradually been changing over the last few years. And now I'm at a place where I want to declutter my life. When I get home I want to go through my house room by room and get rid of the stuff that I don't need, but especially the stuff that has an emotional hold on me. I want to either give it away, sell it or re-create it into the creations I envision in my head.
There's nothing, really, that's stopping me from doing this. Except myself and what I think or how I think.
It won't be easy, I know. But, with thoughtfulness, patience, and consistency - ironically, three of my weakest traits - I can do this. During the process I will be exercising and strengthening my inner self; the end result, I believe, will be "true" freedom. I will have learned a great deal about myself, gained confidence in myself, rebalanced a lopsided sense of myself and corrected beliefs I have held about the world, both physically and spiritually. There will be more room inside of me to hold what God desires for me to have.
Yes, all of the above is so very valid. This is what I know today. I'm traveling on a path and I can only see far enough ahead for today. Tomorrow I hope to have learned something new. I, hopefully, will have been drawn closer to God. My life will be different tomorrow, tonight, even. I don't know what I don't know. But tomorrow I will be closer.