Friday morning, our day off, I needed to be at school by 7:20 in the morning (meaning that I need to leave my apartment before 7:00) to go on a retreat to Kibbutz Hannaton. I have to say that heading into the retreat, I didn't want to head out of town so close to the end of our semester. I was honestly feeling a little stressed looking at everything that is on our schedule as we come to the end of the year.
It was so much better than I could have anticipated. I went on a hike for about 3 hours of hiking. I wish I could remember the hills we climbed, but it was a lot of fun. At the start is seemed pretty easy. Then we took on the actual hilly part of the climb. It was great! There was nothing that we needed to scale, but some of the hiking was pretty tough at times. When we got to the top, the view was incredible.
The way down was actually harder than the way up. I'm a lot more nervous about dropping down, but it was great.
Exhausted, we got to the Kibbutz, showered and had a really nice Shabbat together as a program. Some z'mirot (songs) after dinner and even a tish (table, song session and study session) with one of the community's rabbis. A bunch of melodies, a few discussions and constant interruption of two dogs chasing each other around the tent. After relaxing for a while, I got a decent night's sleep and woke up to go get some meditation in.
I had never do that before and it was a great experience. I'm not sure what it exactly was about focusing on nothing but the pace of my breath. The session was guided and she asked us to concentrate on the the four letter word of God's Name. Each letter represents a part of the cycle of breathing. I felt so much better after that.
Sitting around the kibbutz the rain hit. Yep, that's right. The rain hit hard!
We actually got a nice downpour off and on all day. Complete with thunder and lightning, it was a fantastic show. I had forgotten how much I missed storms. There was really only one more thing that could have made it better was to have a certain special someone sitting on the couch next to me. I love storms and I haven't had a chance to see anything like this since getting to Israel.
It was great to have a little time off somewhere away from Jerusalem. Although I have to see that I am still a little worried about all of the stuff I have coming up and the days that I don't really have to get it all done in. But with that said, I need to get a little sleep. It's going to be a long three weeks until Kaitlin gets here.