My love affair began when my mom and dad met and fell in love on a hippy kibbutz (aka commune) in Israel in, 1973… A seed was planted and, A love story began:
My mom passed away when I was nine years old. Suddenly, unfortunately, and tragically. It has since been my life’s purpose to learn about her, feel her, and carry her name in honor with me everywhere I go.
Ever since I was little, one of my favorite pictures of my mom is of her standing on a ladder picking an orange off the Kibbutz in Israel. I never fully understood why it was this picture that imprinted my heart so deeply until about a year and a half ago. I decided to make a solo trek out to visit the Kibbutz where she met my dad, and to greet the land and the people that housed her heart for so long. (Oh, and of course to pick an orange off an orange tree, too!)
Little did i know that I would be greeted with what made me fall in love with traveling:
The unknown magic that opens your heart and makes you undoubtedly trust and believe in something bigger.
And the Adventure begins:
I visited the kibbutz where I was greeted with drumming, warm embraces, and people telling me that I have my mom’s eyes. I milked a cow in my vintage boots. And loved it. I ate in a communal kitchen, savoring the sounds of a language that makes me feel so at home. I fell asleep to the smell of cows. And attempted to breathe it all in. I traveled all over, I ate hummus all over, I embarked on a 30 day falafel challenge (yes, its true, i ate em’ all, so much so that my derriere was coined “hummus” upon my return back to the states) I prayed, I listened, I fell in love barefoot, I sang, I cried, I danced, I met strangers who became friends, I met family. I met me. And I felt my mom with me every step of the way.
The history of Love:
After a journey rising in love, I returned back to California still with the thirst and hunger for more falafels and hummus. And as life synchronicity and may I add divinity played out weeks and months after, I received the opportunity to return back to Israel to live and work there for the entire summer. Where my love affair only continued to blossom and deepen..
Jerusalem. Old cobblestone magic. Connection, People. Tribe. My mom. My life. My heart. Another hummus belly full of Love. Creations. Barefoot love again. Spirit. Community. Being seen. Feeling held…
I often wonder if my mom felt the same about this land. And while I am tracing her footsteps I am realizing that I am also starting to create a unique path of my own. Like I said above, it is one of my deep intentions to live a life of soul and purpose in my mom’s name. So much so that when I teach a yoga class, work with special needs kids, give a hug, listen to a friend, or say hi to a stranger…it is all inspired by her.
So as my connection to Israel continues to occupy my heart, I am finding ways to stay connected even when I am in California.
Neshama (means) Soul.
The “n” in Neshama is in honor of my mom, Nicole.
Four years ago when I was living in Florida, a woman from Israel gifted me a special blue hamsa necklace that I have worn ever since. For four years, about everyday someone commented on the stone. So much so, that I told myself one day I would find a way to bring this unique stone to many people’s hearts. I am truly grateful for the encouragement, support and inspiration from the thriving and colorful community I am lucky to be a part of in Venice, California. This little blue opal hamsa holds so much meaning to me. It holds the story of my History of Love, and now yours, too. The feeling of creating art from the land I am so in love with, and from a place of soul and intention is a dream come true.
Hummus Belly; A Love Story, will continue on in February when I will be leading a trip of 40 young adults on a 10 day excursion through out Israel. I plan on eating more hummus and falafels, falling in love barefoot again, all the while feeling my mom smiling down on me and whispering in my heart words I forever long to hear, “Rachelle, I see you, I love you and I am proud of you, and save some hummus for your friends!”.
-Rachelle (Guest Contributor)