My recent trip to Palestine and Isreal was a great source of Inspiration, love, and family connection. Born in Toronto, Canada,  I have always distanced myself from a Palestinian heritage and land conflict that felt foreign and overwhelming. My spirit chose to flourish in a different place after all, and although I speak three languages I never learned Arabic, a great divide in understanding the culture.  Acknowledging my lineage was a missing link in my life’s path, and I am grateful I was blessed with the freedom and means to take that leap.

I realize I do not post often here as I was not intending to become a full fledged “blogger”, especially about personal matters, but here I am anyway. I would like to share a couple of my recent personal Facebook posts, as I have been expressing myself more in a new way and I feel I have something to share perhaps others can benefit from.  Here are the three personal updates I posted before, during, and after my 12 day trip. Thank you for reading ~

Posted on January 9, 2013:

Today is the day I fly away, to the distant Middle Eastern lands of my family’s origins and my fathers birth. Jerusalem no less, the holy city. When was the last time you have been “back home” they say. Back home? You mean Canada my birthplace? What is “back home” to a land filled with war and turmoil I never knew, and a grandmother and family I have not seen in 18 years. A good family they always say, a very good family.

Every good medicine woman must know where she came from, and it is time to connect with the origins of my being. I am ready now, for the first time, to do my best to embrace it. Ramallah, Ramallah, I heard your call ~ I am coming home ~

Posted on January 15, 2013:

The land of milk and honey, oh so sweet on my lips…..

Posted on January 22, 2013:

Dearest Palestine/Israel: A love Letter,

Today I am back in the familiar wintry wonderland that has cradled me throughout my life, and I only now have accepted, that I have always missed you. You have taken me on a pilgrimage to the profound depths of your valleys and the soaring heights of your hills. I heard your emotive timeless singing and danced your ecstatic deep rhythms. A land whose bounty yields feasts topped with roasted pine nuts, olive oil, and fresh lemon. A land so sweet many have gone mad wishing to posses you, and your rivers run dry as your tears continue to fall into the sky. Your eternal forgiveness and compassion inspires a way of loving only you could have shown me.

You embraced me tightly, your daughter coming home for the first time, and for this I am ever grateful. A promise; the Empress will grace your fair lands ever more. I promise you,  this was far from our final embrace ~

-Hala Zabaneh