Love at the Banias

Whether you know it or like it, you really love each other.

I felt so much love in Tel Aviv and in Kiryat Shmona and Rishon LeZion and most especially yesterday at the Banias, the wild river that leads to the Jordan River. It was one of the funniest thing I have ever done and one of the happiest days of my life, second to giving birth to my daughter. It’s funny that success is nice but there was never a day like yesterday for me that made me beam from happiness.

There was water. There were rocks and branches and trees that came close to smashing into our heads. We dodged them by bending down low. We even picked up two people at different spots along the river that got lost and dropped them at their picnic spot. I was with my girlfriend and loved being with her. When I laid down in the boat I saw the trees racing past and the clouds remaining above as a witness. The sun drifted in and out of the tree branches. The curves of the the river made the ride smooth at times and violent at other times. We would spin in circles with our hair and hands in the water as we slept and wake up to the racing down stream crashing into the earth and sliding with a bounce back into the current.

We ran into many characters along the way who spoke with me in Hebrew and Arabic who wanted to invite me to their food stands or ask to smoke with us. We went past parties that gave me the soundtrack to our 2 hour river route. We heard Middle Eastern Hebrew songs and Israeli folk music but the most beautiful was to hear a man praying. His song and his voice echoed El Shaddai. I wanted to kiss the sky with his prayers reaching me upstream in the water taking me past and away from them.

The water calms, it cleans, it reminds us of being in our mother’s womb, and it’s 75 percent of our bodies. The river took us past people and spaces and it was a metaphor for life. We are just passing through places and past people and life should and will surprise us. We control nothing except how we react to what comes and who we choose to share our raft with while it’s tipping or crashing into the rocks and dancing in the shallow calm waters. I wanted to hug the universe yesterday. I felt blessed.


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