You know what? If a tiny country in the Middle East can fit thousands of years of history in within its borders, I can fit my stuff in a suitcase..
Packing has never been my forte. Trying to piece together eight weeks worth of materials into an intricate puzzle makes my head spin. Don’t get me wrong, I love puzzles, but a puzzle that determines whether or not I will have the perfect sweat-shirt for a cold Tel-Aviv night or enough pairs of socks to have an extra if I step in an unwelcome puddle out on the streets in Hod HaSharon, is enough to press pause on my love of puzzles. Yet, I find myself, every so often, wandering over to my disassembled puzzle and taking in the smaller pieces, one by one, instead. On the floor are my fresh pair of hiking boots, barely broken in. I look at them and think back to this past summer when my camp friends and I hiked on the Appalachian trail. Knees wobbling, ankles feeling the pressure of our ten pound back packs, yet we still found ourselves laughing between our frequent deep breaths. Through all the discomfort and difficulty the hike presented, the one feeling that seeps through the cracks of aches and pains is happiness. Can the times I will have in these boots bring me that same happiness?
My eyes shift to the right to an empty notebook, fresh and clean. However, upon closer inspection, I notice that it is not empty, but a quarter filled with my older brother’s math notes. After I am done silently cursing my brother for filling up the book and putting it back with the unused school supplies, I think of my brother. He went to AMHSI several years ago on the Impact Fellowship, and was the inspiration for me to take the same trip. When he returned from AMSHI, he spoke of the amazing teachers, places, and friends he had met. Although my brother is a man of few words, the stories and descriptions he gave of his time in Israel made it clear to me, I needed to go. Now, just several days away from take-off from JFK, those stories swirl in my mind. Will my experience be as exciting and special as my brother’s?
I look over all of my materials once again that will soon be Tetrised into my big blue suitcase, again overcome with the stress of packing. I take a deep breath and leave the room. You know what? If a tiny country in the Middle East can fit thousands of years of history in within its borders, I can fit my stuff in a suitcase.