My Haven in Israel


My Haven.

The voice on the inspirational relaxation CD instructed me to “Find a place where I could relax and feel comfortable. Study it. Commit to memory how it looks, how it sounds, how it smells and above all how it affects my feelings.”

The theory was that if I could internalise the actual sensations of peace and positiveness; later I could sit anywhere, shut my eyes (and ears) and bring to mind my little haven of tranquillity enabling me the ability to find the strength and energy to tackle anything! My difficulties wouldn’t disappear, but they would become not only manageable, but resolvable. Life would become relaxed and filled with successful achievements. I certainly liked the sound of those ideas.

I had listened to the CD a dozen times, wondering if I would ever find the safe harbour the speaker was describing. Then one day, out of the blue I discovered IT!

I was accompanying my three grandchildren up the hill to the swimming pool. Climbing the slope was hot, tiring, thirsty work. We stopped half way up so I could rest on the seat, in the shade of a huge carob tree and take a drink from the mandatory bottle of iced water. When I’d quenched my thirst the children took the bottle from me, squabbling over it as they carried it further up the hill.

I sat and looked about. The sun was hot in the cloudless blue sky, but in the shade of the old tree the leaves rustled slightly, the birds twittered and all around was a sea of greens with bright yellow flowers scattered everywhere. I had discovered my haven.

“Grandma, Grandma” the children shouted impatiently. Reluctantly I returned my thoughts to the immediate time, I got up, changed back to loving, happy Grandma mode and we all continued to trudge up the hill.

Next day, with the grandchildren all at kindergarten, I returned to my little oasis to really enjoy it and to imprint it into my brain. I sat on the bench, in the shade of the the huge old carob tree with the sun shining in a cloudless blue sky. Everywhere was green, brown and yellow. There were green trees, carobs, pines and even date palms, green flowering bushes and green grass, with brown tree trunks and paths and a myriad of bright yellow flowers hanging in the trees and gently floating in the air as they joined their fellows carpeting the huge expanse of grass.. Above and around the various birds flew; sparrows, finches, tits, herons, crows, pigeons and larks all twittering, warbling, cooing and cawing at each other. Sweet-scented yellow blossoms perfumed the air, while a few bushes of red or orange nectar centred flowers also attracting the softly buzzing bees. In every direction there were sights, sounds and smells that I drank in and committed to memory.

This would be my oasis of peace and contentment. This is where I would go, in my mind’s eye, to revitalize my thoughts and restore my positivity. My haven would enable me to relax, gain the strength and inspiration I need to solve life’s problems.


The knowledge that I had found my haven at last, gave me the feeling I could cope with anything life threw at me, like I was almost immortal.

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