Jerusalem, sunrise/moonrise from my balcony at the Austrian Hospice

Jerusalem, sunrise/moonrise from my balcony at the Austrian Hospice

It all caught up with me yesterday—thousands of years of history wall-to-wall with right now; the distant but ever-present murmurings of election fallout at home; the cumulative effect of vistas, sounds, smells, and oh, so many delectable tastes.

On the upward portion of a gorgeous hike through the Amud Reserve in the upper Galilee, I pushed back the tears, and then finally just gave in. Stoicism is not my forte, and having traversed from the desert to the Dead Sea through Jerusalem to the sanctuary of Mitzpe Hayamim in 48 hours, my mind and heart and soul were all simultaneously filled to overflowing.

 Walking the Amud Reserve, looking toward Tsfat

Walking the Amud Reserve, looking toward Tsfat

Bits and pieces of the last two days come to mind: the morning light and coffee banter in Jerusalem at six am as I sought my morning caffeine; “just one more” kebab at Diana restaurant in Nazareth (yes, I took some of the leftovers with me, and did not regret that decision one bit when I ate another kebab a few hours later).

 Preparing lamb kebab, Diana restaurant

Preparing lamb kebab, Diana restaurant

Inspiring conversation with the brilliant, honest, elegant Reem Younis of Alpha Omega—civil engineer, entrepreneur, wife and mother, who spoke eloquently about the commitment to the region and offering opportunities within the community of Nazareth, though a high-tech company would be easier to operate out of Tel Aviv. I could have talked to her for hours. From there we spoke to more amazing women—Rachel and Ayala at Rish Lakish, an organic olive oil farm discussed in our Innovation & Enterprise book.

 Diana with one of the founders of Rish Lakish

Diana with one of the founders of Rish Lakish

I’m skipping over too much to get to my Galilean Massage at Mitzpe Hayamim—honey, olive oil, salt scrub, and gentle energy work with Lileh who probably had a lot to do with the rush of emotions welling forth on our hike.

 View from the Effendi Hotel in Akko listening to the waves, remembering the flavors of last night’s tasting menu at Uri Buri

View from the Effendi Hotel in Akko listening to the waves, remembering the flavors of last night’s tasting menu at Uri Buri

This land is very present; its stirs so much in so many. And so it is good to find ways to release. I sit now in my bathrobe (a new skill I am perfecting, hotel roaming in bathrobes) on a porch overlooking the Mediterranean at the Effendi Hotel in Akko, listening to the waves, remembering the flavors of last night’s tasting menu at Uri Buri….while I conclude this to see what new delights breakfast has to offer. 

— Michelle Dunn Marsh

 Michelle Dunn Marsh blogging from the Effendi Hotel, Akko

Michelle Dunn Marsh blogging from the Effendi Hotel, Akko