Monday, February 14, 2011

What would (younger) Jeremy do?

IMAG0113Twenty years ago on the eve of my first big visit to Israel, my father asked some friends of our family to give me some travel advice.

The one I remember and which impacted me the most came from our friend, Sue Singer.

Her guidance?

“Walk the land.”

It became my mantra for those four months and my subsequent travels in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere.

It was through “walking the land” that you really get to know a place.

I thought of those words when I woke up at 4.30am in Jerusalem.

The night prior, I had driven from suburban J’lem into the city for dinner with some friends and parked in a garage.

When I returned at 10.30pm, I discovered-to my dismay-that the garage had closed at 9.30pm.

(Now, what self-respecting late-night dinner area garage would do that is beyond me, but I digress.)

I got a ride home from some friends, but was faced with the question: Best way to retrieve the car the next morning (garage opened at 7am) without major disruption to the family?

My hostess told me about a bus option, which would require me to get up at 6.10am.

I set the alarm, but I guess I was concerned about the alarm waking the kids, so something woke me up (anxiety maybe).

As I lay in bed, thinking about life, I recalled Sue’s words “walk the land.”

Then, I thought about age and the passage of time.

If youth is a “state of mind,” then staying young is about doing things that your younger self would have done (with slight adjustments for the fact that I have 3 kids, etc.)

So, I said to myself “what would (younger) Jeremy do?”

The answer: “He would just ‘walk the land.’”

So, that’s what I did. 3 miles or so.

1 hour later, I was downtown, ready to get the car, but I had seen the city come to life, watched the sunrise, and found free wi-fi. Smile

I had created a memory and, at least in my mind, “stayed young.”

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