A year ago yesterday I zipped up my enormous turquoise suitcase, put on my beloved backpack, double checked that I had my passport, and headed to the international terminal at LAX for what would be my fourth trip to Israel in nearly as many months.
For the fourth time that year, I spent weeks laughing, learning, and teaching a group of young Jews about the place I had fallen in love with.
I can’t believe it’s been a year. I can’t believe that 365 days have passed since I’ve walked through the cities and towns and kibbutzim I’d fallen in love with.
My tan that I was so proud of (from all those godforsaken hikes!) has long faded. My Hebrew is beginning to slip again - I can’t remember how to say “dragonfly.” I don’t remember the exact taste of my beloved iced caffé from Aroma Café.
I miss Israel. I miss it so much. I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again – I’m a different person there. Lighter, calmer, more carefree. And for me, someone who prides herself on her calendars and notes and sticking to the plan, that feeling is irreplaceable. It’s something I can only get there – can only feel there.
When I got back from that final trip, I wrote a post where I asked “How do you go about your life when you’ve left a part of you on the other side of the world?”
The answer? Well… you just do. A lot has happened in this past year – I’ve traveled and shopped and ate and laughed and cried and worked and danced and sung. I’ve gone new places and done new things and met new people.
But I never, ever, stop missing Israel.