You walk, you stroll, you love, you grow How the city effects you, you never know Meeting people and making friends A new adventure around each bend A place for old and new love too Seeing couples holding hands, its true The city of love, a city of passion Where to next, only you can fashion Sitting by a fountain, resting on the stairs With this city I am having an affair Love some parts, also hate others Its a city of artists, its a wonder! So much inspiration in one place A new day and adventure, its the way With inspiration and love in the air Each moment you will cherish and care
Written at the end of my trip to Italy, July 2012 Vacation is over, time to return to daily life I am still a mom and friend, but not a wife Daily life with all its ups and downs I find it hard to keep my feet on the ground My vacation inspired me and made me wonder Is there more to life than this daily plunder?
I wrote this during a trip to Italy in 2012 and found it written on a scrap of paper. It is true that when you have free time, you make room for creativity. The sing song Italian words I hear Motorbike sputtering, the city sounds near Behind, in front and to the side In Rome there is no quiet to find The air is warm and humid too With all the sun, you can't feel blue A moment of peace is in your heart That is where peace starts A place of calm, a place of home Where else can you be alone? A great big city with people everywhere As you stroll through winding streets without a care Sitting on the sidewalk drinking espresso How can I move from here? To get up and go? I don't want to leave but I know I must At some point, espresso runs out, what a fuss! Tourists walk by I can hear them laugh I don't feel much like them at all, too bad And so I finish my Roma cappacino At last its time to leave, here I go.
From the desert to the forest with the evergreen trees
A trip from coast to coast and I know where I’ll be
To the lake with the water splashing on the dock
The dirt road winds ’round the lake to walk
A trip so long by road, yet short by plane
Back to a place I grew up – so far, far away
Not just in miles but in years gone by
I long for the cool crisp air of night
The lake was always my second home you know
I traveled the world, always on the go
Not sure how I traveled – car, plane or boat
I am ready to return to the cabin down the road
Camp is a place in my heart and soul
It made my childhood memories like gold
I long for evenings sitting on the porch
The barbecue over and marshmallows scorched
A place still seen through my child’s eye
It looks so different as a grown-up, but why?
As I was picking myself off the floor at San Francisco airport today after a nasty fall, I wondered how I could have walked all over San Francisco this week without a wobble, yet I couldn’t walk through the airport without falling on my face. I decided I would blame it on the over-sized (a.k.a collossal) manuals I was carrying back from the training class I attended. I walked around all week with my San Francisco essentials (laptop, scarf, jacket, coffee ) and there was no falling down. Today the only difference was the extra load in my bag. It is possible that my shoes were to blame, but they are very comfortable Dansko.
Maybe I could blame an earthquake for my fall? Could the earth have moved below my foot causing me to lose my balance? I was thinking back to previous trips to the Bay area and maybe this area just makes me klutzy overall. I remember a trip from several years ago where I was walking along a sidewalk with a friend. We were talking and I must not have been paying attention then I walked right into a sign. Falling on my face, walking into signs, maybe all these are signs that it is time to go home or that this place makes me klutzy! During my walks around San Francisco this week I was reminded that it is one of the few cities in the US where you don’t need (or want) a car. Unless you want to leave the city a car isn’t needed (why would you leave, it has everything you need?).
Being in San Francisco reminded me of my trips this year to Israel and Italy. Being in a city is a completely different experience from the country or the suburbs. I like it. I felt like it is one of the few cities I could actually feel comfortable living in. Besides my falling, this trip was great! I like the cool ocean air, the energetic vibe of the city, and of course an excuse to walk through all of it! I remember as a kid my grandmother always asked, “Does anyone want to go for a walk?”. I always said, “Yes”. I am still saying, “Yes”. Whether it walking in the mountains around Phoenix, the Tuscan hillsides, the beach in Bat Yam, or the hilly streets of San Francisco I am still saying,” Yes, I want to go for a walk.” No fall on my face will keep me from walking, even if it is with a limp and a bruise on my knee. Where do you like to walk?
I recently traveled to Israel with my boyfriend and didn’t really know what to expect. I, like many Americans, used to have a skewed perception of what the country is like. Over the last few years many of these preconceived notions were debunked. I still wondered if life in Israel was at all like stories I had seen on the evening news. Would there be missiles everywhere and camels wandering the streets? Avoiding missiles and violence in Israel was not a problem. Gaining weight from all the fine food and finding a parking spot for your car were problems. I was so busy walking and eating there was no time to worry about missiles or my safety because walking around Tel Aviv was more safe than walking around New York City. Before the trip I had heard a lot about the food, the people, the beaches, the humidity, the historical sites and yes, more about the food. I spent most of my time in Tel Aviv, so maybe my extremely edible view of Israel is different than other parts of the country. The food was definitely the highlight of the trip, along with a particularly energetic wall.
In Tel Aviv there is no shortage of fresh squeezed juices (on every corner), amazing coffee, fresh melon, and delicious shawarma. If you don’t know what shawarma is, you just have to taste it to understand. And (unfortunately) I haven’t found very good shawarma in the U.S. The bread is different, the meat is different, the hummus is different and the tahini!! My mouth is watering just writing about it. To give you an idea how amazing the sandwiches were, we stopped on the way to the airport to grab one last sandwich so we could nibble on it during the 11 hour flight back to the U.S. It definitely made the trip go by faster.
After spending several days in Tel Aviv, I took a guided tour of Jerusalem. There is so much history in Jerusalem it is hard to say what was the most interesting. The tour was so fast paced I almost missed the stone where Jesus laid when they brought him down off the cross. I didn’t have time or the desire to wait in line to get a glimpse inside the tomb where Jesus was resurrected. Needless to say, Jerusalem has an aura of conflict, death and tourism. The old city at times felt more like a giant shopping mall than a historical site. There is one spot in Jerusalem that moved me more than anything else – the Western Wall or The Kotel. The tradition of the Kotel is to put your prayer notes into the wall. I carried notes from others as well as a few of my own. Getting to the wall was a challenge, placing the notes into the wall was nearly impossible. The Western Wall is divided into sections – one for women and the other for men. The section for women was very small – so there were a lot of us squished together and trying to place our notes. I was able to get up to the wall. To touch it. To place my notes. What surprised me was that I could feel an energy being emitted from the wall. I am not a religious person, but there is definitely something unique about the wall and I felt it.
My trip to Israel was too short and there are plenty of other things for me to see, do, and eat there. I am definitely looking forward to the next trip and my next shawarma!
A smile, a grin, my open eyes,
I too can learn to be happy and wise.
The day begins and my heart is soaring,
I know that today will not be boring.
A chance to find my heart’s desire,
A chance to light my inner fire.
A feeling inside for a happy discovery,
I have the strength to pursue inside me.
A new day, a new chance to improve and grow,
I can find a new level of happy you know.
If we don’t try for more we can never see,
How much more happy we can feel and be.