Summer is here!

With four kids in school, the transfer from June to July is very obvious. Kids are home! Last week we went to Nachal Ktalav just south-west of Jerusalem, not far from Beit Shemesh. Beautiful area.

Nature, calm, silence, rest. These are so important. My wife told me the other day to go and just sit and stare at nature for 30 minutes. No cell phone, no distractions. Just rest. Enjoy God’s creation. It was amazing. I think it’s the most ancient human way to “charge the batteries,” but I think we often neglect it in our modern day and age. The twitter and netflix culture has made it hard to just stop and relax.

Jerusalem is a big city, and even though we love living here, we are dreaming of a future when the kids are grownup and we can live in a place closer to nature. As for now, they have schools and we have jobs. But some day. Maybe.

Which also brings me back in time to the characters of my book. Did they even have a name for “nature?” Probably not. They lived in it constantly. The New Testament never describes the breathtaking views and amazing nature of this country, because they probably just took it for granted. (Although come to think of it, Josephus did describe. Too much!)

For me, I need to describe it in my book. But not in a boring way. I need my readers to feel it. The view over the Sea of Galilee from Mount Arbel. The salt whiff of air from the Sea in Caesarea. The lush green trees and running streams of Banias, or Caesarea Philippi. The dry desert heat and the “wheep-wheep” sound of starling birds in the Negev desert. I want my readers to feel like they’re here.

But honestly – there’s nothing like visiting and seeing it with your own eyes. If you’ve never visited Israel – what are you waiting for?

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