Netanya

 

Note: Picture credited to the Israeli Ministry of Tourism (www.goisrael.com)

Trusting Process

Coming back from Tzfat, we spent another night with my husband’s relatives in Tel Aviv. We knew that the next day we will have to go to Netanya. Why? I don’t know. We had no reservations or any plans. Again!

We did not know. Except a feeling that we had to be there as our next step. Once again, lightly packed, we went to the bus station in the early morning and took a bus to Netanya.

Netanya is located north of Tel Aviv and is well known for its white beaches that are located right under the cliffs and facing the Mediterranean Sea. There is a line of seaside resorts that stretch along the cliffs.

Arriving to Netanya, we asked where the majority of hotels were and went to that direction. Since we did not have any reservations, we decided to check every hotel. So that is what we did. We walked into every hotel just to see if there were rooms available.

Since it was August and a high tourist season, every hotel was fully booked. Nothing was available. Nothing!

We began to feel discouraged, but then I remembered that my son said to trust the process. I also knew there must be a reason why we were called to come here. So we kept walking up the hill until we almost reached the last hotel. (Did I mention that I don’t like hills? It was a steep hill!). 

Our Miracle Hotel 

This particular hotel was almost the last hotel in the line of that cliff. It was also one of the most fancy hotels. Every room had a view of the sea. And what a view that was!

As we walked in the hotel, we noticed right away that the maître d’hôtel was Russian. It made it easier to communicate as we did not know Hebrew. And yes, almost everyone speaks fair English. Still . . .

At this point we were absolutely tired and exhausted from walking in the heat for several hours . . . up to the hill.

I knew that I absolutely must take a rest before walking again. I was totally fried. Out of breath, thirsty, hungry, with no energy left. I asked my husband to bring me water and to ask them to allow us to rest in their lobby, if they too did not have rooms. I thought that at least we could use their restaurant to eat. We needed to recoup and to think what to do next.

While I crashed on one of the lobby couches, waiting for water and all, my husband asked if any rooms were available. The answer was “no.” But they were kind enough to let us just be and to rest as long as we needed and to use their facilities.

The lobby was very well done. Gorgeous! The couches were so comfy, and the air was fresh and cool. The water was cold and crisp. Nothing was moving in me. I closed my eyes and just “went” somewhere.

I don’t know how long I was out, but a light touch on my shoulder brought me back. It was the maître d’hôtel. He could not see where my husband was, so he woke me up.

He wanted us to know that someone just called and canceled their group reservation that was scheduled to be checked in a few hours. Therefore, now not only one, but several rooms were available. He looked surprised.

We were told that we were free to choose any room we liked. He also said that because this group reservation got canceled at a very short note, our price for a room was going to be significantly reduced too.

So we ended up getting one of the best rooms at the lowest price. We were told that this has never happened. A group cancelation on such a short note. We were guaranteed a room for the next ten days.

Staying in Netanya

We were also told that all the hotels in Netanya were fully booked till the end of the vacation session. That we already learned on our own. And that people normally made reservations at least six months in advance. Well, agree, for a normal vacation, that would be the norm. But we were not on vacation. Therefore, we had to keep trusting our process.

Our room had an absolutely gorgeous view, quite large and very well kept. For sure it was a luxury setting. We ended up staying in this hotel for almost three weeks. During those weeks, as we were about to leave, we were notified that another room just got canceled . . . again.

Once again, we were invited to stay longer if we wished, and our prices once again were very well adjusted. We were only asked to move to another room. It was fine with us. No problem.

Every room in which we ended up staying in was simply amazing. I don’t know who were canceling the reservations and why, but let me tell you this: they knew what they were reserving. 

We were also told that back-to-back cancellations were extremely rare. We were advised to see this phenomenon that was happening with us as a miracle. So we did. 

Why Netanya?

During my stay in Netanya, I thought that nothing spiritual per se happened to me. After all, I did not see any dreams, visions, or anything out of the ordinary. My son did not even ask me to write anything, which confused me. I felt as if I was left alone. There were no messages, like in Tzfat. No writing. Very calm and quiet.

At that time, I did not feel my direct purpose of being in Netanya; it was too calm. I did not know “why” I was there. After all, the only thing we did were sleep, eat, and swim.

We even did not really talk. Kept to ourselves most of the time. As if each of us was in some kind of cocoon or a bubble. Protected from the outside world.

How blind was I? Very!

You see, most of our time there, I spent swimming in the sea. I spent almost all my time just sitting in the water. The water of the sea was warm and clean and calm most of the time. Just perfect. It felt as if I was just in a huge bathtub. So yummy. So great for me.

Why? Because I love water. Water is my element. When I am in the water, I always feel at home and loved. That is why swimming is such a huge part of my life. Starting from as long as I can remember myself. No one ever tried to teach me how to swim, when I was a child.

I knew how to swim on my own, from the first time I went into the water. That is why in our family, I was called a “dolphin.” And if there was an option to get to a destination by walking or by swimming, I always jumped in the water and was swimming, while everyone was just walking.

Once my grandmother took me on a vacation with her. The Black Sea. The Black Sea is a terrific sea. Loved it!

She, my grandmother, did not yet fully understand my connection with water. Not my love for that element. However, later on she told me that I swim like a “shark.” Without fear and alone.

True. I never had fear in the water, be that swimming in the warm waters or just jumping across the river in the early spring by using broken pieces of ice as my steps.

She said so that I swim like a shark, after witnessing my swim during a thunderstorm. For the first time, she saw me catching the biggest waves far away from the shore and laughing under the rain and with every hit of lightning.

Do you remember  Shakespeare:

“. . . fear no more the lightning flash,

Nor the all-dreaded thunder stone;

Fear not slander, center rash;

Thou hast finished joy and moan:

All lovers young, all lovers must

Consign to thee, and come to dust.”

 From “Fear No More the Heat o’ the Sun.”

Well, so . . . I was fourteen or fifteen at that time. My grandmother also told me that I now was responsible for all her silver hair. I did not argue.

The vision of her running on the beach and screaming for me to get back to shore while I was just simply enjoying my swim remained with me for the rest of my life. My poor grandma, surviving me . . . and the sea . . . she never went traveling with me after that.

Who can blame her? But what could I do? I always loved swimming. Be that in the sea, river, or any other body of water. And during the rain . . . ? The best!

It feels amazing! Water in the sea or river, under the rain, feels very different. More soft and warm. That moment of uniting, when the water from below for the first time kisses and welcomes the water from above . . . finally they are together again . . . seamlessly connected again . . . something magical happens at that moment . . . I wanted to be there to witness it! I wanted to be a part of their reunion! 

And I have always loved lightning. Nothing comes close to the feeling that I had while swimming or just running in the open meadow during thunderstorm. Nothing!

Yet while staying in Netanya, I blocked that out. I blocked out the fact that water for me is the most healing and nurturing environment. And that inside the water I always feel at Home. Swimming in the warm waters of the sea . . . for me is the same as for a baby being held in the arms of a loving mother.

For me, the ocean or sea or river is not just a body of water. For me, it’s just a pure representation of love. Therefore, being in Netanya was a time of Divine love in its purest form. I understood that only later.