Elements are Natural forces all around us: affecting us, healing us, challenging us, transforming us, inspiring us, and also driving us forward. When I visited Israel in April, my senses were heightened and I became more sensitive and connected to Nature in its purest states. . . soul-moving mountains, endless valleys, humble deserts, magical-salty seas, I could go on and on. If you want to see some of Israel’s stunning Nature, I have written three other Elemental Posts high-lighting the beauty and magic I experienced outdoors (click here). In this final Elemental Post, I want to discuss FIRE! In Hebrew Fire is Esh. If you will, close your eyes for just a moment and picture FIRE (Close your eyes here)!! . . . Finished? You saw Fire yes? Great!! What color was it? What was the setting of this Fire? Was it outside of you? Or was it something within you? Often we think of Fire as a powerful but destructive force. Fire moves chaotically, without rhyme or reason wiping out trees, forests, wildlife, towns, or it destroys things and property, and can harm, scar and even kill people. Once it gains momentum fire is hard to stop and if combined with Wind, it’s twice as hard to put out.
Now imagine that instead of ESH being something external, it’s something you can see and feel within, as an INTERNAL FORCE and POWERFUL DRIVE that affects, heals, challenges, transforms, inspires and drives you forward.
Fire’s intensity is high and just as in Nature, once it gains momentum in You, it’s hard to stop. Once combined with another magical element, Wind, it’s twice as hard to put out. My experience and travel throughout Israel taught me that I have the Fire/Esh within me. I had been building it slowly at first as I was trying to be careful and calculated, but I discovered I wanted to test it at full potential, full intensity, FOR MAXIMUM TRANSFORMATION AND HEALING. When I finally lit the Fire, it burned bright in me and took me to some of the most incredible places in the past two years. You think you can’t do it? Are you afraid of its power? Afraid it might burn out of control? Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid of your potential. Don’t focus on what could go wrong, but focus on what could go Absolutely Right!! That’s what I did. I felt that I was changing in 2015 (wondering how? Check out my latest post about moving from California to Spain). I felt that I was being led somewhere, by my own voice inside of me, this voice talking of possibilities and endless growth. So I listened. I went forth. With Wind and Fire working with me, I traveled to Israel where I had confirmation of my purpose. In the final days of my two-week journey here I made sure to let FIRE guide me.
Arad in the Judaean Desert was my base. I hiked up a mountain to watch the loveliest sunrise at Masada where I felt connected to the silence of this desert, this land. Returning to the hostel on a complete high, I contemplated how this trip had filled my adventurous cup to the point that it overflowed. My joy emanated from my skin, from my pores and shown on my sun-kissed face. I came back to a pancake breakfast that Dead Sea Adventure Hostel provides for free. I cannot praise enough the location, the staff and my experience which was just a day and half here. Get there and give them some business!!! After breakfast chats with some travelers at the table, I was tired but still willing to do one more exploration in the area. I asked the staff what I should see nearby. He said simply, “go after the Israeli girls that just left and ask them if you can come along. They are going to an amazing location you would love to see.” So I ran outside while barefoot to make sure I didn’t miss my chance, lucky that they nearly taking off but not gone yet. I asked if they had room in there for me. Three bright eyed young women smiled and said YES that I was welcome, so I ran back to get my sandals and camera. We were off!! Through the desert we went… in a car that hauled ass working hard to get us to our destination. It was nearly an hour drive through the desert and on rough roads where four wheel drive would have come in handy, and yet these ladies were confident we’d make it.
I bet you’d like to know the name of this magnificent hike and location. It was an hour hike through rough terrain, slopes and inclines of rocks. We used metal bars that had been added directly into the rock where it became a vertical climb down (or back upward once you are leaving). I had heard we were going to a pool but I had no idea that it’d be tucked away in the mountains of the Judaean Desert. I probably shouldn’t have been wearing my Havaianas flip flops, but at least I’m experienced enough hiking in them. Dangerous hike? Slightly. Adventurous hike? Hell Yea! Worth it? Beyond Belief WORTH IT. I was pinching myself that I was here on my final day exploring the desert. Manifestation is Real people!!! I kept telling the Israeli girls how badass they were out here, and that I had noticed that Israelis are such great travelers, risk-takers and lovers of exploring Nature in my experience in these weeks. I’m always down to risk when there is a beautiful reward, and this is definitely one for future my travel Memoirs.
Finally standing at the edge of the Secret Pool looking down, anticipating my upcoming jump/the reward, ohhhhhhhh man the fear came over me.
One by one, the 3 Israeli girls jumped in and showed me that it was perfectly doable (maybe a 15 or 20 foot drop). I was fighting with my demons. I was standing there absolutely frozen, much like another moment I had while facing a jump in Cobá, México (read post here). Though intending to silence that voice in my head and Jump, I couldn’t. I stood at the edge a few times and tried, until a nice gentleman holding a baby (whom he had carried all the way down/up there) told me that I didn’t have to jump if I was afraid. He said that I could enjoy swimming just as well by taking the rope route down into the water. He made me think. I realized that my body had done so much for me in these weeks in Israel, taken me everywhere, endured the desert heat, hiked, walked, swam, floated, and carried a very literal load on my back all over the country. I WAS SO GRATEFUL ALREADY, so amazed that at 29 I could do anything that the FIRE said I could. . . including NOT JUMP. I made the choice to not jump, walked myself over to that rope and climbed down into the pool. . . and still enjoyed the hell out of that water. I swam and cheered on others who jumped. I absorbed some serious SOL energy while I laid spread out on the rocks. I thanked the girls for the journey and of course, thanked my own voice and ESH inside that had led me here. And as for the location reveal, it stays with me and the locals for now. Some of these treasures are better kept secret, so that they can be preserved.
“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a FIRE to be kindled.” -Plutarch
AND SOON MY DAY SPENT IN BETHLEHEM, PALESTINE! LOVE AND LIGHT!!!