In the weeks before my trip to the States, the long-awaited springtime was in full bloom in the North of Israel. We begin praying for much needed rain at the fall feast of Sukkot and continue with our daily petition for precipitation until Pesach.
G-d did not disappoint, as we had a series of ground drenching rains in March. The dried-out brown landscape, desolate for a season, sprang to life in the full splendor of nature. All of the Galilee was an Irish green, with flowers everywhere. We took full advantage of the mild weather, frequenting neighborhood parks and finding new trails to hike within a couple miles from our house.
Israel prides itself on well-marked well-kept nature trails. They are everywhere! And each neighborhood has a lovely park. We first moved to Israel three years ago- and the land was awash in fields of wildflowers as if to celebrate our arrival. I still love to pick big bouquets for a table and to put in cases all around the house.
Here, cyclamens I used to buy in California, grow wild in meadows and between rocks- beautiful reds, pinks, white and fuschia. The air is redolent with the scent of sages, wild broom, lavender and rosemary which grows everywhere. We have wild irises, daisies, lupine, Queen Anne’s lace, anemones, sweet peas, and countless other species.
It is not altogether uncommon to see whole families picnicking in an olive grove or citrus orchard. Couples share bottles of wine on blankets in the park. The gentle breezes and buzzing of the bees mix with chirping of birdsongs. Regional and national parks are full of hikers and this is the season to visit the country’s wildlife reserves and organic farms.
The Galil Spring is a time of mild temperatures and unsurpassed beauty. Despite the building frenzy prevalent up and down the coast and in the center of the country, our area is still widely open and uninhabited. It remains a favorite destination for those escaping the cities whether it’s hiking or rafting down the Jordan River, or just enjoying a meal alfresco in a local park. Nothing like Israel this time of year!