Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Very Narrow Bridge

Today, on the two-month anniversary of my arrival in Israel according to the Gregorian calendar, I am being utterly adventurous and brave and perhaps fearless and putting on the brand new boots that I received this time last week that attempted to kill me -- twice.

Yes, some nice, wide, knee-length boots that were shipped by the amazing Leah to me in Israel that cost me quite the pretty penny were worn last Sunday without a care in the world. I walked, and walked, and walked, and didn't even slip. Then, on Monday, I fell twice, busting up my knee pretty badly. Yes, it's doing all the beautiful natural things like scabbing over, but the bone is bruised and still incredibly sore. I'll be honest in saying that I don't even know if it's healing right because in my ramshackle life I had some gauze (which I was using in place of cheesecloth in an attempt to make vegan cheese that failed -- for now), and that was it. So I gauzed it without any kind of antibiotic ointment initially. I got some later (thanks to Yoni), but I'm beginning to think that it might be a touch not okay. We'll see.

So I'm putting the boots on, wearing a long skirt (protecting the knee in the instance of a fall, please HaShem), and going to go about my day.

This, I'd like to think, is a little lesson from the following.
Kol ha'olam kulo gesher tzar m'od.
כל העולם כולו גשר צר מאוד.
All the world is a very narrow bridge. 
If you know the phrase, it's probably because you were singing it in Hillel or at camp or on a birthright trip or something. I know I learned this while in ulpan back in 2009 that is now reverberating in my life now. What you might not know is the rest of the phrase, that comes from Nachman of Breslov -- "... and the important thing is not to fear at all."

I spent an amazing Shabbat in Ramat Bet Shemesh with some new folks that I think will now be a very regular part of my life. While at the Shabbat table, everyone went around and mentioned some way that they saw G-d in their daily life that merited another day in this world. For me, it was a recollection of the very significant moments that I experience every day where I'm reminded how amazing, beautiful, and absolutely right this place is for me. I'm in such a good place in my life right now and every day there are these moments where I feel like I'm being reminded, "You've made the right choice in the right moment, you are home." Riding on a bus, walking through the shuk, sitting at home -- I can't really describe the moments, but I try to capture them by being completely thankful.

I've fallen a lot in my life, and I've picked myself up and put myself someplace new, in new situations with new people in an attempt to stay on this very narrow bridge of life. I've always thought that the important thing was being on the bridge, always on the bridge. What I never really considered was that the important thing is to understand that we're meant to fall, because it is narrow. It's picking ourselves back up that is the important part.

Something has changed with me here. I'm more in-sync with who I am, what I need, and hopefully a little closer to understanding what HaShem wants from me. As everything slowly aligns and feels more whole and complete, I'm realizing how possible it is to be content, to be okay, to be happy.

Be fearless, be intentional, listen to the still, small voice within and let it really guide you to where you were meant to go, who you were meant to be. You'll be blown away at how easy it is.

Here is to two months in Israel and to years and years and years beyond!