Posts Tagged ‘traveling’

Light has always guided my life.

I am alive and thriving today because of the light that I am blessed to find not only in myself, but in the world that surrounds me.  So much so that many years ago, I changed my name legally so that I could embrace the light within my essence.

Gal-Or, my last name means wave of light.  One of my primary goals has been to illuminate the world around me and to find the light in all that surrounds me and the larger world I live.  My name carries the reminder that I have the responsibility to spread and find late wherever I travel.

Finding light within darkness.

Finding light within darkness.

On the second day of Hanukkah 5775, I am feeling empowered by the beauty of the world I currently live.  I have been blessed to live in a cocoon of warmth and love over the last several decades.  I have a loving family (both given and of choice) that takes care of me and surrounds me with love and warmth.

And unfortunately, there is another truth.  We live in a world that has much darkness.  With each breath I pray that I and so many others spread light that will ultimately illuminate where we stand. Sometimes living feels a bit daunting.  Each and every day, the news is full of destruction and pain at every turn.  Untimely death, murder, a need for civil disobedience, environmental tragedies, and profound sadness for so many. . . . .  Life.

For me, Hanukkah is my reminder that even while things are tough for me personally and within the world I live, it is still my job to be the light and to spread light wherever I go.  And even when the darkness looms bigger than the light, it is my job to find the sparks of light that are truly part of the  our world.

Many people are striving to make a difference for good regardless of how challenging the world may seem.

Here is one song that inspires me to keep doing the holy work of actively engaging in the world I live.  Light One Candle (written by Peter Yarrow, performed by Peter, Paul, and Mary)

Remember to be the light with each and every step you take – now and always.

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Our trek to Tucson has been empowering, challenging, and fun.  While I do not believe any of us would have called this trek easy; the boys and I seemed to thrive as we traveled the many miles from Washington DC to Tucson. The wild thing was that with the exception of three hours on an Arkansas road, nearly every mile went smoothly.

  • The traffic went smoothly.
  • The people we met were without exception kind.
  • We saw beauty along the roads.
  • We ate one gluten free meal at a Subway in Texas.
  • Aryeh nearly obtained his goal of collecting one knife a day during each day of the trek.  At one point, we found a knife from Subway in our bag, but the cheap plastic knife was not up to his standards. 😉
  • Dovi read a book a day and would have read more if he had the next books for his newest series.  Boy can that boy read; he reads 10 times faster than Aryeh and I put together.
  • Jill and Jim have been amazingly giving.  They have opened up their doors to strangers and become fast friends.
  • Our moving truck came on Thursday and then a crew of movers unloaded the truck on that same day. I am so grateful to Michael for finding the best movers and handyman in Tucson.  Locals should let me know if they want Joe’s information.
  • Friday, we started unpacking our house and on Sunday we are moving in.
  • Even with some challenges, the new house is awesome.
  • Feeling the love of our friends as they support the newest journey has helped us move forward.
  • Our last day of traveling was amazing.  We went to an incredible Antique Mall on the border of Texas and New Mexico.

  • We drove in pouring rain through Arizona towards Tucson.  We were surprised by the rain, but later realized it is normal.

With all the good, there are also some challenges.  I feel concern that my boys will take a little time to make friends; summer realities make it challenging to connect with people.  There is an exhaustion that is running deep within my bones from not sleeping well and from dealing with all the emotions of this move.  Wrapping up life in our nation’s capital, moving cross country, and leaving many beloved friends is all part of reality. I am anxious to get started in my work and am feeling a strong sense of both excitement and overwhelm.

New beginnings are scary and exciting too.  Meeting my new community will take time, yet I feel like I need to be able to get everything done today.  🙂 Our new home needs to still be unpacked and we need to find time to purchase a new sofa on a limited budget.  I also need to weed through some books and lose what I shouldn’t have traveled with in the first place.  I don’t want our home to be too cluttered.  And finally, with all that needs to be accomplished, family time should remain a goal; I love motherhood and hanging with my boys.

Below you will find the final insights that we found along our journey:

  1. Folks in Texas sure do ‘Drive Friendly’ even at ridiculously high speeds of travel.
  2. Success in Tucson can be solely graded by how Ginger and Meg welcome me each morning.  Their wagging tails/bodies put a smile on my face each and every day.
  3. We will need to adopt a puppy (all dogs are puppies) as soon as we finish unpacking our house.  We are missing the dogs that Michael took with him to Florida.  Dog energy is what every healthy home needs.
  4. Navigating dark moments is a part of life.  It was amazing to see how quickly we moved through bad moods never allowing them to stick with any of us for more than a brief time.
  5. Border Patrol gave me the smallest taste of what it must feel like to move through a border each day and be questioned.  Because we were American, spoke English well, it took us a moment.  Even in the moment, I felt anxiety because I had never faced this experience before. I am so sorry that their a good Palestinians that have to face this journey daily and with more hostility than I have ever faced.  As Aryeh said, “We didn’t fit any profile, so we were waved through in 5 seconds.”
  6. Happy people prepare better tasting food regardless of being at a nice restaurant, fast food, or ice cream stand.
  7. It’s a long way from DC to Tucson!

The biggest lesson of our Trek to Tucson was remembering the concepts taught in Anne Lamott’s book, Bird by Bird: When the miles you travel become overwhelming, just take a small step  and then another and then another.  Ultimately, you will reach your destination one action at a time.

Now on to new beginnings!

With love, light, and blessings,


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