Finding my angels on a camping trip in the Negev desert
One of the greatest gifts I was ever given was the opportunity to stay overnight in the Negev Desert. Camping in the desert is something I had wanted to do for a long time. Doing it as part of this trip made it all the more worthwhile, it was mind-blowing and something which I will treasure forever.
We said goodbye to Jerusalem, and I with a happier heart and lighter load than when I arrived. What lay before me was extremely exciting; not only a night in the desert but what I would soon learn, a life changing experience. As day the went on and we left the city behind, going deeper into the sandy plains. It was so surreal and so peaceful, this sums up the entire experience.
We would stay the night in a traditional beduin tent in the middle of the desert. Approaching the campsite, I was elated. Camels sat on the perimeter of this makeshift village surrounded by the vastness of the desert. I was informed we would be taking a camel ride a little later on.
Reaching our beduin tent was joyous; right up my street. Give me a tent in a desert over a five star hotel any day. It was a shock to the others to say the least but they were excited. We would sleep on mattresses on the ground of this wooden structure, covered in materials and protected by goat or camel hair. A camping heaven and dream come true.
Allowing the realisation to soak in, I appreciated my surroundings. My heart swelled and my soul grew. I could have stayed there for days but we only had one precious night to cherish. Once we chose our mattress and corner of the floor we and some down time to settle in. I took up my book ‘Valkyries’ by Paulo Coelho and read this stunning chapter about when he was brought into the desert to meet his angels. I lay there praying that I too would find my angels in the desert. A few moments later I went to my bed to put on my shoes and found two white feathers by my bed. My angels had come to see me.
After the downtime we went to see the camels. Nerves took a hold and I decided not to do the camel ride yet the universe had other plans. Right up to about two seconds beforehand, I wasn’t going but one of the other ladies needed a camel companion as they were to go in pairs. Not wanting to let her down or stop her chance at going, I jumped on.
As soon as the camel stood up my fear melted. It was a truly great experience trekking through the desert on the back of such a gentle creature. Once upon a time I wasn’t able to go on escalators for pure fear and here I was on a camel. Such a small thing to some but phobias are crippling and I was overcoming mine. It was a step forward in feeling a lot braver in myself and a lot more trusting in God.
We went back to the tent where we took part in an hour of silent meditation. Some people read passages from the Bible but I tuned out, choosing to lay back in meditation. Soaking in the atmosphere around, I began doing reiki on myself; channeling the energies of the desert into my body. Still finding the Bible passages mind boggling, I focused on my own feeling with God. To me it’s about this special feeling with God and the universe, channeling all of the universal energy and realising we are all part of this one energy.
Concentrating on everything around, I soaked up the smell of sand, the sounds of donkeys neighing, children laughing, the vastness and the warmth. Ready to go out the desert to full experience what I was channelling, I walked barefoot to a rock and sat down. The warm dusty ground on my bare feet felt humbling and offered a fresh vitality. My mind wandered, unable to shut off. As I sat there watching the sun set over the mounds of dusty dirt, rock and sand, I prayed for calm. When the hour was up we retuned to the tent where I lay again, this time completely overwhelmed with calm and relaxation.
Following a truly gorgeous meal, we shared stories over a campfire. I spoke of my anxiety and depression and how much I was gaining from this special trip. Being part of this wonderful group made me feel so whole and so wanted in this world. Something I don’t always feel. A group who I had just met, loving me there and then for who I am, not a forced front or a working guise. Just me, my soul exposed in the desert.
That night I slept under the starts, feeling completely at one with God’s creation. Such a magically night. When morning came I struggled with leaving but it was time to go elsewhere. We would leave the desert behind but the true peace found here has remained with me.
Lessons from Today
The emptiest of things are full of the greatest joy.
You are braver than you think.
Your ministry is your gift of truth.
YOU are your purpose in life.
Open to your heart and listen to what your dreams tell you.
God has the right to destroy me, I do not.
Le Cheim – to life.