27 נוב' 2014

Dana's Blog - Hiking in the Golan Heights, Part 2

מאת: מערך תהוד"ה בשעה: 8:03 קטגוריות: Blogs, עמוד הבית

Day two of our hiking trip started with meeting our new tour guide for the day because unfortunately, our original guide got injured about five minutes into our trip the day prior. He seemed very energetic, and it was just what we all needed, seeing as how we woke up at 6:30 in the morning after a day full of hiking; needless to say we were a tired bunch!
Through our early morning grogginess, we started hiking around the Zavitan Stream and this trail looked vastly different than the previous day. Instead of lovely forests and streams resembling woodlands like our first day, it was basically desert, with short shrubbery and barely any water to be seen. It was also a great deal hotter that day because the temperature wasn’t regulated by any streams or shade from the trees, and it was a much harder hike! We were basically climbing up and down rocks the entire time, which turned out to be a great workout but it was very exhaustive! It got me thinking I should start bouldering or rock climbing when I go back to Minnesota, seeing as I was so good at it, and only managed to trip once.

About two-thirds of the way into our way into the hike, we stopped to catch our breath, drink some water, and eat a light snack while we looked at the scenery around us. I looked down into this ravine and saw a gorgeous waterfall and pond area where I saw many people swimming. Since, I was so hot I wanted nothing more than to join them and dive into that water, but I just drank some water and waited for us to move on. As we were waiting, our tour guide read this wonderful poem, called “Moments” by Jorge Luis Borges. It about taking all the chances and experiences your life offers to you and that you will only regret all of the experiences you didn’t have.

“If I could live again my life,
In the next – I’ll try,
– to make more mistakes,

I won’t try to be so perfect,

I’ll be more relaxed,
I’ll be more full – than I am now,
In fact, I’ll take fewer things seriously,
I’ll be less hygienic,
I’ll take more risks,

I’ll take more trips,

I’ll watch more sunsets,

I’ll climb more mountains,
I’ll swim more rivers…”

He then informed us we would be hiking down to the waterfall, where we would have the opportunity to swim which I was thoroughly psyched about, and he again read part of the poem, trying to convince everyone to swim and take advantage of this one in a lifetime experience!
Yes, the water was incredibly cold, probably the coldest water I have ever swam in, and this is coming from a Minnesotan is used to below freezing weather for months on end! But it was such an exhilarating experience, to swim out to a waterfall and feel the numbness from the water flood my body. Only about 15 of us were convinced by the poem to go out and swim, but I am unbelievably glad I did, because I will never regret this experience.
This entire study trip in Israel thus far been about me going out of my comfort zone, experiencing life, and doing things I never would have dreamed of doing! From now on, on every excursion I do this semester and beyond, every moment where I question doing something crazy, every time I think “If I don’t do this, I may regret it later…”, I will think back to looking at that waterfall, and hearing that poem, and making the decision to live life more fully, and jump into that freezing cold water.

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