We, too, must walk.
And walk we did across this land, on a combination of trails, paths and barely-roads that would not meet the dictionary definition. We walked on the sea-to-sea trail, from the Mediterranean to the Sea of Galilee. The Jesus Trail (no, I am not making this up) took us through places of Biblical significance, such as Nazareth and Cana. The Israel National Trail brought us up hills that necessitated I later descend them on my rear end. We also walked on the special Roxanne-and-Elijah trail, which mostly involved finding the wheat field with the most thistle to prickle our legs or getting fenced into a cattle farm and trudging through poop to a chorus of moos.
We walked through a kibbutz and slept in a valley between Arab towns. We heard both the Muslim call to prayer echoing across a mountain at 4 AM and the sirens marking Israeli Independence Day. Even if this walk was not about The Conflict, the stories, plights, frustrations and sources of hope of Jews and Muslims alike wove themselves into our trail.
Some may ask “why walk?” I fall in love by walking. Cambridge, Massachusetts became my home once I spent consecutive mornings looping around the Charles River, avoiding patches of ice and goose poop in equal measure. I walked through Cairo during Ramadan nights. I walked through the Zona Cafetera of Colombia, soaking in the aroma of coffee beans and sight of waxed palm trees.
I make sense of the world by walking through it, piece by piece, village by village, drinking from the fountains along the way.