The afternoon brought us to the oldest and lowest city on the face of the planet: Jericho. I didn't particularly get excited on the bus ride there. In fact, I just don't really get excited ahead of time too often. But once I got there, I was so enthralled! All the pictures I had seen about the excavations and all the stuff I'd read about Kenyon and her bible-hating findings were right here. I was witnessing thousands of years in one moment….and I smiled inside. Jericho, the winter refuge from rainy Jerusalem, the place to go for pleasant and mild days when the rainy season is weighing you down, was located just beyond the Wilderness. Literally, there's hills and wadis of Senonian chalk and some Cenomanian ridges that don't produce anything because no water gets there and the earth is white as snow but hot and dry and desolate….just a few more feet and you're surrounded by palm trees and a luscious green scenery with the a beautiful view of the Jordan Rift Valley. I do take mental snapshots. Sometimes a camera can't quite catch what you see, and sometimes you don't even want it to. Certain things are best left to cherish in one's head.
Later on in the day when we went to Gezer, I was tired and a bit hungry and was mentally and physically ready to head home. But stepping off the bus wasn't difficult when I saw fields and a beautiful flatland surrounded by the cities and the coast and some wildflowers and a few trees and, of course, some ancient walls. This scene reminded me of southern Minnesota and I felt strangely familiar and at home with it all. Overall, it was a good day.
PS. My computer broke and I'm in the process of either fixing it or figuring out how to put pictures online without it. So hang in there with me...it will be a few days before I can figure stuff out. Thanks. -GRACE