It was a morning of mornings, exalted above all of my experiences I had since I had laid my eyes on Jerusalem. We started a hike before the crack of dawn so that we could meet the sunset over the beauty that Negev had to offer us. That morning was filled with so much insight and beauty of the desert, I was simply in awe. Each step brought me closer and closer to a river that flows deep inside of my soul. A body of water from where I drink internal strength to continue on in life. I had not spoken all morning and had responded only to the questions addressed to me. This meant a complete focus on my end. I had my watchful eyes on to learn as much as I could about Negev I had longed to see for so many years, but before I had experienced the beauty of the desert, I had dreamt about it literally and figuratively.
What else was there left to learn, I asked myself as the sun began to rise. The beauty of sun’s rays covered the desert that looked thirsty and dry to a point that it reminded me of a photo of Mars I had seen before. Everything I was seeing was surreal. My mere presence in the desert was unbelievable to my inquisitive mind. I wondered if I would find an answer to my question avoiding everyone and everything around me. I wanted to know the depths of my thoughts and to discover something about my inner-soul. My mission was successful in the afternoon as we gathered for a short meditation.
We sat in a circle per our amazing guide who sat on the side of the cliff. She began by asking if anyone would like to volunteer to sit right in front of her on the other side of the cliff that connected our circle. Before I responded that I was volunteering, my feet took me to the spot she had pointed. Everyone cheered to my bravery, but I had no idea why my feet were taking me there. I was not thinking as I had let my heart wander with my soul to come up with a good answer to my question that I had asked earlier in the morning. Little did I knew that on that spot in Negev, I would discover something about myself which would lead me until today.
Everyone’s eyes were on our guide as she looked me in my eyes and asked, “Who are you?”. Without hesitation, I responded, “Svetlana”. Our guide asked again “who are you?” To my little relief of the first answer, I quickly responded, “I’m a Jew”. She then asked once more, “Who are you?” and I responded, “I am a strong woman, and I will do great things.” My mind was blown what I had said. If there was anyone wandering in their minds at that point, everyone then began to pay attention. Of course our guide succeeded in getting an answer out of me, and she was content to move on with the next topic. Only I was left completely bewildered by my last response.
The mystery of my response remained with me for several years until I had realized that my question to myself was answered, and I learned that day in Negev that no matter what happens in my life, I shall remain a strong woman. Nothing and no one has the power to poison the living water that flows inside of me as long as I continue to learn and mend myself to the most perfect version yet to be.