Reaching Jerusalem and the beginning of the road ahead
A 3am start from The Vicarage in Heath and Reach gets us on our way. We set off to fly from Luton airport. Something I still find humorous, a five hour flight from this small airport rather than the international Heathrow will get us to such a fascinating destination. The flight was fine from what I remember. I did not sleep but sat next to a woman who was part of our tour. Ann was so excited to be on the plane to the Holy Land. A woman in her seventies, at this point a stranger but one who I was soon to become very fond of.
We reached Tel Aviv and the humidity immediately hit alongside the excitement of being on this great big adventure. At this stage we were tired and hungry but eager to reach our destination. We met our tour guide and after a quick toilet stop and grabbing some sandwiches we got on our bus to Jerusalem.
What an adventure. We reached the city walls where the bus parked up and we had to climb the stone stairs to get inside. When we got inside the old city walls it was a spectacle. We were surrounded by cobblestones. The footpath and walls were made of this beautiful orangey brown ancient stone which glowed with history. The atmosphere was buzzing.
We were surrounded by a sea of black cloth. The city was crowded with men in traditional Jewish clothing; head to toe in long black coats, suits, the tall black hats and ringlets in their hair. The Jewish holiday of ‘Sukkot’ ‘The Feast of Tabernacles’ was on and Jews from all over the world had made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem to pray at the temple. It was easy for us to look on at how different they look, forgetting that here we are the outsiders.
We were very lucky to stay in a Christian guesthouse in the centre of everything. Our accommodation was so central, we only had a short stroll to get there and get settled in. From here it was a case of getting settled in and resting before the busy days to come.
As the evening approached and the group sat together, I felt really anxious and unsure. Waves of angst kept washing over me. So used to being alone, being in that group was very overwhelming. At this point I was extremely overtired. All of the emotions took hold and negative thoughts and feelings crept in.
I began reading Paulo Coelho ‘The Valkyries’. It’s about the author and his wife going into the desert to find his guardian angel. This felt so similar to the journey I was on; a journey to find my guardian angel and the answer of what to do next. The serendipitous thing about reading this book is that I found it in a charity shop by chance. I could not decide what book to get so I blindly picked this one; how fitting.
At this point my mind was exhausted. Having done so much thinking I could not think anymore. The purpose of this trip was to just be. Be in the present moment and be one, be happy.
The book talks about controlling your second mind and expanding your horizons to ones further beyond the close conscious bubble we create. When you take in the world around you, then you become aware and grow your soul. I want to grow my soul. Day two tomorrow.