Walking in the lands we love, without fear

As we reflect on 2014 and dream into the future, I wish to share two recent blogs from a Canadian Ecumenical Accompanier (EA; click here), Zoë. She provides insight into the beauty of the land in the West Bank and how it is being changed (click here and here).

Her reflections bring to mind the intense joy that I experienced when I visited the tiny village of Yanoun in January 2011 – the place was a salve for my soul, after an intense six weeks in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem. Click here for more information about Yanoun and for a slide show of my photos from my visit.

Shortly after my visit to Yanoun, I found a book of poetic prose by Raja Shehadeh, a Palestinian lawyer, Palestinian Walks: Notes on a Vanishing Landscape. It won the Orwell Prize in 2008. Click here to learn more and to read some excerpts. See his additional commentary from 2009 here.

I share Shehadeh’s lament:

“How unaware many trekkers around the world are of what a luxury it is to be able to walk in the land they love without anger, fear or insecurity, just to be able to walk without political arguments running obsessively through their heads, without the fear of losing what they’ve come to love, without the anxiety that they will be deprived of the right to enjoy it. Simply to walk and savour what nature has to offer, as I was once able to do.” (Shehadeh, 2008, p. 33)

Let this lament be a basis for hope that, together, we might realize that we are collectively responsible for the political-economic conflicts in the world and that we might help to heal with the lands that we love…