Glory, Glory, Hallelujah!

30 06 2011

Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  This is what life on the open road is all about.  We just came from Capitol Reef National Park, a lesser-known paradise not far from Bryce Canyon through which the Fremont River flows.  Part farm and part natural beauty, the park hosted us for three glorious days of making new friends (hey to Doug and the Ojai crew!), pushing our bodies and adventuring through slot canyons, gazing at the milky way and a myriad of constellations, and picking sweet and ripe mulberries straight off of the orchard trees.  This rustic beauty of an experience was heightened by our complete lack of connectivity.  Not a single phone call, e-mail or Google search was made during our entire stay.  Amen!

Campmate Bella Shows Her Strength by Pushing Yair On Our Homemade Tree Swing

Campmate Bella Shows Her Strength by Pushing Yair On Our Homemade Tree Swing

Yair and I Proudly Show Off Our Stained Hands, (Overcab) Berry-Picking Ladder and Tupperwares Filled to the Brim With Mulberries

Yair and I Proudly Show Off Our Stained Hands, (Overcab) Berry-Picking Ladder and Tupperwares Filled to the Brim With Mulberries

Yair Squeezes His Way Through the Cottonwood Wash Slot Canyon On An Awesome 7+ Mile Trek

Yair Squeezes His Way Through the Cottonwood Wash Slot Canyon On An Awesome 7+ Mile Trek

The fairytale-like surrounding views continued on the drive toward Moab this evening.  During the drive, we picked up a hitchhiker (technically, he was just walking alongside the road but we offered him a ride), stopped at a local dairy farm where we tasted and bought fresh-made cheeses and pesto (as the goats were being milked out back!) and drove through the most breathtaking lightning storm that I have ever seen.  Giant sheets of energy sizzling through the sky, striking at mountains, creating new destinations with the formation of each zig zag and curling up into enormous circles – truly awe inspiring.  This was followed by an hour of rainbow viewing, nearly fifty glowing rainbows calling out to us and shooing the rain away.

Mesa Market, A Local Farm and Bakery in Cainesville With Fresh Pesto and Cheeses

Mesa Market, A Local Farm and Bakery in Cainesville With Fresh Pesto and Cheeses

As if this wasn’t spectacular enough, these experiences and views were accompanied by Jandrea’s (Yair’s brother and sister) alternately pumping, relaxing and humorous music mix of 150+ songs.  Hallelujah, Shehechiyanu – to be alive!

We’re in such a high place right now, and everything feels so right.  A friend of mine, Andrew, is an adventurer, traveler and journalist in his late 30s / early 40s.  He interviewed me for an online piece about Faces of Israel back in March.  Then we worked together on a presentation of the program at a festival in Montreal just three weeks ago.  Then he had a heart attack in Ecuador last weekend and died.

It took a little while to sink in.  I haven’t known so many people who have died and the non-family ones still stick out: Andrew Princz (this friend), Ilan Tokayer (a middle school classmate), Bob Nihon (a close family friend) and Linda May (an inspiration from my community back in Riverdale).  All died suddenly, without warning and before their time.  Death should be a wake-up call to everyone to live each day and each moment fully.  And this past week has been gloriously, abundantly full.

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posted by ayo

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4 responses

1 07 2011
Briana

Love the ” Jandrea” use. 🙂 (Hi to Jandrea!)
It sound like such a great time. I’m sorry for your loss. Time matches on…at least we are making the most of every day.
And “Thank you God that all my systems work perfectly!” 😉
Xo

5 07 2011
ayo

Ha! My Rabbis would be so proud that a good Christian girl has learned her ‘Asher Yatzar’.

On that topic, I just found this link for you: http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Blessings/Daily_Blessings/Yatzar/yatzar.html 🙂

xo

2 07 2011
Nina

So glad you guys got to enjoy Capitol Ree

5 07 2011
ayo

I think Capitol Reef has been my favorite park experience so far. Thanks for the recommendation! 🙂

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