top of page

England, Ireland, Israel With Love

Updated: Jan 17, 2023

We loved our visit with Lisa, Maria, Teya, Jonah, Dena's partner and Darren in Bristol. The combination of travel and seeing loved ones is the best combination. The second best travel experience is discovering healthy and delish food. The vegan Indian and Persian was clean, fresh and superb with outstanding flavors and delightful presentation.

Lisa, Jonah Paul and I went to a beach with an oil rig that had been dragged out of the ocean and turned into a garden, art display and view tower. It was called the sea monster.

We flew to Ireland with Lisa and Maria, had lunch in Dublin, then an interesting Yom Kippur celebration. The tourist info retired guy said don’t go to the bog walk. The last people complained of rain. He advised us to go to the lighthouse where we wouldn’t get the eco walk. The waitress at the cafe, where they had a pot of boiled water for one euro on the menu, was also older. She said the bog is nice but we better be wearing boots and we don’t want to park in the first lot because that will mean extra walking. She also urged me to choose the chicken with barley soup with her eyes and tone of voice then threw in “it’s very home made” erasing the objection in my mind to the possibility of factory farmed chicken. Never mind that I already felt guilty for eating on Yom Kippur for health reasons. Lisa had the boiled water. We went for the bog eco walk rather than the lighthouse. It was sunny out so I didn’t force my raincoat over the fake down jacket purchased for 6 euros in a thrift store because Ireland is damp cold in October. After a short distance the dark cloud did drift in and we got the showers that the tourist bureau guy warned us about. He also urged us to never trust an Irish weather forecast predicting a sunny afternoon. I announced that I was turning around and waiting in the car and asked for the car keys. Paul handed me the keys then decided to walk with me giving me his rain pants to wear like a scarf. The rain pants slid off my neck and dropped into a puddle causing me to forget to look out for the dog droppings marking the center of the trail. Paul then gave me excellent instructions for making full use of the terrain to clean the bottom of my sneaker including different ways to scrape and give my shoe a puddle bath. Paul had to open the car door because he had handed me the house key instead of the car key. Good thing he had decided to walk with me. Because the weather cleared it didn’t take much to convince me to force myself with many layers into the raincoat just in case. We returned to Lisa and Maria after parking in the second lot to avoid extra walking. The bog path and Sun offered way more natural beauty than the lighthouse would have. I’m sure of it.

Triple spiral anyone? This is an ancient motif that may represent the cycle of birth, death and rebirth. We saw this pattern at New Grange the neolithic burial mound that is older than the pyramids in Egypt or 5000 years old. It's also a passageway and a calendar that shows the light in the blackness during the solstice.

Am I sometimes over the top appreciative in a bothersome way. Am I bumping up against God as I feel excitement about subtle but noticeable differences in other countries The hills are a slightly different shade of green The bookstore owner is as cute as a dumpling and loves to talk about his personal mysterious Irish history. I’ve learned about the ancient burial mound passageway. The dappled sun reveals something glittery. The waiter’s humor is different and refreshing. All the food tastes good. Thank you. I also liked the large tree growing out of a rock at the random park we stopped at to have a leg stretch. Maybe it's the newness and maybe it's spending time with loved ones that makes everything seem magical.

Last night I wanted more control after Maria and I searched the youthful pub oriented streets for take away food finally settling on the Vietnamese staffed by a nice young Irish man. It was simply a window outside a leisure club or pub for police. We weren’t allowed to wait inside with the police club members. This morning while meditating I had the sense that all my thoughts and fears were shaping a path so it was unnecessary to judge anything. Rather than simply I’m afraid of a person doing something I don’t like and I’m afraid because I want to control this person’s behavior, it’s more like, as in the book Right Use of Will, the spirit or God connected part of me is lovingly meeting or embracing the fearful part knowing that with the awareness of spirit I can know that the fear is simply shaping a path towards the light like a stem breaking out of a seed and growing towards the sun.

Walked a lot in Galway Ireland and never found an adequate pub. We did hear a lot of good street music. All my worries become transformed while reaching towards the Sun. I’m thinking about Lisa G and want to send an Ireland photo.

Tiring hindsight type day. Yay we’re in Israel with Yitzi. The weather is perfect and we’re staying on an organic farm kibbutz. I dreamt that someone was giving me plants that turned into three dogs that turned into peacock type long feathers to enable me to carry the plants. The dream characters had a baby who spoke in à sophisticated 1940s Hollywood style. “He sounds like Fred Astaire” I remarked to the parents. Woke up and meditated on the deck at our Kibbutz Harduf Airbnb There are birds, trees, hills and the sun in the east

Uphill hikes are challenging for me. We have constant opportunities to either give in to destructive reactionary behavior or wake up to love. Lisa S told me about Rabbi Sheva Gold explaining “double arrow” meaning we had a quick destructive reaction then (number two) gave in to beating ourselves up rather than waking up to love. That’s the trickiest. Resist reacting to your reaction of responding irritably just because you’re tired from a long steep hike in the Israeli desert climate and watch what happens.

Fun day in Acco with Paul and Yitzi. It’s festive during Sukkot. I love how Acco is such a peaceful place with Arabs and Jews living side by side. We ate in a very delish restaurant called Roots owned by a Muslim a Christian and a Jew. There was warm feelings there and it was kosher. Maybe there is a new kosher that combines long established kashrut “roots” with what I imagine as sustainable food practices, peace and love. As the waiter and Yitzi spoke a mixture of Hebrew and English I sensed warmth and kindness. He brought us each a tiny sip glass of lemonade and Arak that enhances the marvelous flavors of the best babaganoush ever, other yummy middle eastern spreads, and other worldly cucumber and tomato salad with perfect pita crunch appetizer. Then we had the most perfectly cooked, flavorful and delicate sea bass. There was a moment of sadness when Yitzi mentioned how long it will be until he sees us again. I am appreciative of our wonderful week together in the land of Israel.

Today we were in ancient Caesarea with beach and Roman ruins. Then some traffic and gas station confusion till we reached our Airbnb in the Ein Karem neighborhood of Jerusalem. Do cats howl in high pitches at the moon in the middle of the night? It was actually coyotes. Is temporarily letting go of my afternoon yoga and meditation routine an okay thing because I’m traveling, experiencing new

things and spending a precious week with my son. Earlier in the evening a chorus of dogs were barking as a prelude to the street concert. The chorus of coyotes took over deep into the quiet night of hilly, artsy, ancient Ein Karem. Contrast offers constant opportunities for transformation and connection with God. Only then can there be receiving and giving.

The Director of Pardes invited us to Shabbat dinner. A friend of David and Tobie's who lives in a fruit orchard in En Karem invited us to Shabbat lunch. We met really nice people who treated us to delicious food. It was a beautiful day and I’m so grateful and happy to spend quality time with Yitzi. This morning we read Ecclesiastes that offers a reflection on time, breathing, appreciating and much more.

The day we had to leave there was a delay at the gas station because I had to ask for help from the young woman attendant who was busy taking photos of an insect crawling on a plastic cup. The shuttle had to turn around so a man could grab his backpack. The driver didn’t hear him the first five times because she was talking on her phone. Before that we took a beautiful early morning Ein Karem neighborhood walk for 30 min to a really lovely cafe with a garden. A great way to end a star week.

24 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page