I just awoke from a much needed mid-morning to mid-afternoon sleep. Not a nap, for I seldom enjoy those, but a true sleep. Perhaps the best since I have arrived to East Jerusalem. Last night I was editing ’till 2AM and then walked to the office in the Old City to upload a film. At 4AM I caught a taxi with two volunteers for EAPPI in order to shadow them at the Kalandia checkpoint at the boundary of the West Bank.

Back to my apartment at 8:30, ate breakfast, and despite my best efforts, found sleep pulling at me.

What called me from my slumber was the wonderful wind driven rain pounding on my windows. I realized then that for me, changes in the seasons, both in temperature and length of day are an important part of my feeling settled in this world. I look back to March of 2008 and a blog entry Counting raindrops in Tokyo. I was so completely content to just sit in my hotel room, the window open to the street far below, and allow the mist to fill the room.

Living here has for me been a challenge, a true test of my ability to find internal peace amidst a nearly continuous onslaught of horns, sirens, music, fireworks (from Palestinian weddings) and road noise. It has been a study in my minimal need for exercise and at the same time, a study in sound and how it affects me. My every-other-weekend ventures to the Dead Sea, highlands of the North past the Sea of Galilee, and hiking in the West Bank with my friend Lukas have been absolutely necessary to maintain any semblance of balance.

I am envious of people who are grounded and content in the city. But I would never want to feel so comfortable here that weekend adventures on the trails were no longer needed.