Tag Archives: psalms

I saw the sign.

9 Apr

The symbol of the Israel National Trail is white, blue, and orange. If you are walking the shvil from south to north than the white is on top symbolizing heading towards Mt. Hermon, which gets snow. And if you walk from North to South than the orange is on top symbolizing the sand on the beach of Eilat.

While we were in the desert, the trail symbols were often quite easy to spot since they were often the most color we would see with the exception of our clothes and our packs. Now that we are out of the desert and hiking in green pastures and around civilization it’s often a bit of a scavenger hunt (or a game of “Where’s Waldo?”) to find the trail marker. When we do find and see the sign it is often quite exciting. My friend Sonya says she gets a rush of adrenaline each time.

As a result of this, we started thinking about the shvil sign as metaphor in our own lives. During our walking over the past two days we tried to answer this question for ourselves, “What’s the shvil sign in your life?” Meaning what symbols in your life let you know you are on the right path. Sonya reflected that hers is an inner shvil sign. I think mine might be when I catch the clock at 4:11 (the time I was born.) Whats the shvil sign of your life?

Yesterday we traveled through the Yatir Forest into the Meitar Forest and today we left the Meitar forest and walked 26K(!) to a Bedouin compound where we are camping for the night. Today was another memorable day on the shvil.

First, the trail started only a few hundred meters from the security fence. The trail was heading north west towards Jerusalem. Seeing the fence and essentially walking along it was certainly a reminder of the conflict that I hadn’t been thinking so much about during the walk despite trying to keep up with the news. It reminded me yet again of the complexity of this place …a beautiful trail alongside a divisive security barrier.

The trail then took us to Kibbutz Lahav one of two places that raises pigs in Israel! I learned that there is law that pigs actually can’t be raised in the holy land so Lahav built platforms for the pigs to be on so they never touch the ground. (This is a different aspect of the complexities of this country!) As we walked around the fence of the Kibbutz I definitely heard the sounds of the pigs. Poor Wilbur. 😦

We then walked up and down a bunch of hills till we ended up in Devira Forest. Devira had ruins from after the destruction of the second temple in 70CE. Jews fled here to southern Judea. Towards the end of this forest there was picnic grounds with a sign with this wonderful quote from Psalm 96:12, “Then all of the trees of the forest will sing for joy.”

Finally, we arrived to our night camp around 4:30pm (we had been going since 7:45am…oof.) The trucks with our stuff had not arrived yet and so a few members of our group got us invited for tea and coffee with the Bedouins here. They spoke a combination of Hebrew and Arabic and I was a bit tired so I couldn’t totally understand everything. When they heard I was from the states they did say the words, “Obama. Trump.” And then “Dump. Trump.” I also learned they have 200 sheep. They live here between March and October so the sheep can eat grass and graze. And also they get 30 shekels a kilo for lamb. Poor Lambchop. 😦

We are settling into the campsite now and…I built the fire tonight!! See photo below!! I am

beyond proud.

Laila tov from the forest where the trees sing with joy. A good sign I think for a good sleep.