I miss that feeling of love--that overwhelming, wrapped in a warm blanket type of love. I miss that togetherness--doing everything, with everyone, every day. I miss the city--how alive it is and the friendly smiles always coming our way. I miss the nights we stayed up on the balcony looking out onto the city, and the early mornings spent in class feeling the verity of the teachings our professors shared with us. I miss the dance parties and the clearly identifiable giggles heard throughout the hallways at any and all times of the day, both appropriate and not (like during church...oops). I miss having inside jokes that we actually thought we came up with all on our own (yolo, anyone?). I miss waking up to the sound of the Call to Prayer, rushing through the city engulfed by the smell of freshly baked pita (and smelly men), and being overly excited for banana bread muffins or ice cream in the Oasis during dinner.
It is crazy how I became so attached to a place I lived in for only four months. How it feels more like home than my actual home. How I am jealous of other groups having similar experiences, because I feel like it was mine and mine only, and as if I am the only person and my group is the only one that can truly appreciate it for all it is worth.
I guess they call it the Holy Land for that reason. It really is holy. It holds a special place in my heart. A section that can never be replaced. A place that some boy, a boy who is smart and wants to win my whole heart, will bring me back to one day and allow me to show him why it truly is the greatest place on earth.
I know I am not alone in my love for Jerusalem. Hello, there is kind of a war being fought over it. Well, that, and other things. And in a way, I understand. I am possessive over the city. And the people. And the history. I want it to be preserved forever. I want the world to see and understand what the people of Israel already know--Israel is the Land of God. God, the Holy One of Israel. And Jerusalem is where Jesus lived and taught and suffered and died and rose again. Jesus Christ, our Savior. Could a more important place exist?
I think sometimes it is easy, too easy, to get caught up in this lifestyle--this lifestyle of nice cars and big houses and fancy clothes. But I also think that is part of what I love most about Jerusalem. No one cares what you are wearing, or rather, they care that what you are wearing is so mute and covers so much of you that you forget about what you are wearing and focus on what is truly important--your faith. Everyone wants to be your friend. Everyone wants to see you happy.
It is funny looking back on it like this, because I remember times feelings of such hostility between Palestinians and Jews. But I also felt so welcomed everywhere I went--synagogues, mosques, the Dome of the Rock, the Western Wall, the Old City, everywhere.
I cannot remember passing an unfriendly face. I cannot remember a day spent without a stupid smile plastered on. I cannot remember a night that I did not reflect back on my day and think, "I am so blessed. God is so good. Life is so great." And that could not be more true. I am so blessed. God is so good. And life is so great.
I never expected to feel this way about a place, or to have this endless amount of love for a group of people. But I could not be more grateful that I do now--that I have had that experience. I feel blessed to be able to hold this place in my heart. I wish everyone could go and feel the love that I felt there. I want everyone to know what it is like to love something so much that you can't imagine your life without it. People say that is what it is like when you fall in love. So maybe I haven't fallen in love with that one special person yet, but I have with this city. And that has got to be a start right?
Here's an interesting article that caught my eye, and got this ramble going.