Today I crossed the bridge. I am in Palestine. It is the first time I am back here in eight years. I was both anxious and excited. So far I have not seen much and from what I have seen not much has changed.
The bridge crossing is still an experience of patience and passive aggressive behavior. Jericho is still beautiful Jericho, with its heady smells and warm weather. The Taxi drivers are chatty and still know where everyone lives. The check points are plentiful and intimidating. The hills are rolling and green.
Later today will be my first true experience with Ramallah. I look forward to getting to know this city more intimately. I am also fearful of that experience. Not knowing whether this will be good or bad. Rewarding or demoralizing. I am not entirely sure what to expect and so I am prepared for the worst, hoping for the best.
This country will always be one of conflict for me. An internal conflict that comes from seeing, feeling things and wanting for this land what I know is not possible, at least in the present time. I am here for 10 days. In these 10 days I know my relationship with Palestine will change, grow and deepen. It will evolve through my interactions with its realities in ways I don’t know just yet. I hope I am up to the challenge of seeing this reality up close and personal.