Oh Jerusalem

• 28 August 2012

Have you ever unexpectedly stumbled upon something that moved you instantly?  To the point where life stopped for a moment and you mentally traveled back in time--for just a moment--to a place you visited earlier in your life?  Perhaps you lost your breath for a second or two...or your eyes teared up momentarily.  But whatever your reaction, your mind reignited with memories you hadn't entertained for quite some time.

Well, this strange and infrequent circumstance happened upon me yesterday.  I sat down for a few minutes of reading after putting my kids down for naps and quiet time--the time when I regroup for the remainder of the day.  I was casually glancing through a magazine, in need of something light, as I was simulataneously processing the week's expanding to-do list (we are moving Monday!).  I turned the page and saw the above image and felt instantly drawn back to a place I felt deeply connected to.  Just like that.  Memories from my 19-year-old self surfaced and all of a sudden I didn't live in Seattle anymore.  I was in Jerusalem.

You see, I've been around a little (more than some, less than others), but I haven't always felt connected to my surroundings or to the places I've lived.  Surprisingly, I've felt more at home in a place where I resided 2 months, than a place I lived 8+ years.  For me, longevity isn't a factor.  It's more about a soul feeling at ease, at home; and I instantly felt at home in Jerusalem.  Does any of this sound familiar to you or are you thinking, `girl, you are out there?!'.

Have you ever had a similar experience?  If so, where were you and why do you think you felt the way you did?  I'd love to hear about it, if you're comfortable sharing here.

Here are a couple of links for you if you're keen on more images:

* additional images of the university here (snapped by Mark Philbrick).

* an interesting article in the NYT sharing one man's experience reluctantly getting lost in Jerusalem.

* beautiful images of the Old City by George Henton--particularly this one and this one.  The Wailing Wall holds a special place in my heart.  In fact, George's entire flickr stream is mighty interesting if you're following political unrest in the world.


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