Not an injury-prone person, I sprained my ankle pretty badly last night. After nearly vomiting (twice) from the searing pain of having done so, a couple of hours of ice and elevation rendered the sight of it somewhat entertaining. After all, it is not every day that my foot looks like the swollen belly of a carnivorous snake. In my mind, I imagine that my toes must have managed to catch and swallow a large desert mouse. I even had someone take a picture, but it is far too gruesome to share.
"Perhaps the Universe is trying to tell me something,"I thought as I was attempting to fall asleep last night. Could it be that I need to slow down for a couple of days and ground myself? I certainly have a pile of work to slog through, and it won't hurt to be forced to sit still. Even though I didn't injure myself running, maybe the Universe doesn't want me running through the streets of Jerusalem for the next few weeks. Ok, fine. Fair enough. I can handle this.
If the Universe is really trying to tell me something, one very clear and prominent message happens to be sticking out in my mind. I am scheduled to take a day trip tomorrow for an official tour of the town of Sderot. Sderot is the Israeli city near that Gaza Strip that has been the most bombarded and traumatized by the deadly rocket attacks released by the fighters in Gaza. Indiscriminate rocket attacks can happen at any time, and so the thought of going there has been weighing on my mind quite a bit. Lately, I have been uncertain if going there is a good idea for me. For the better part of two years, I have had a recurring dream about running to take cover from bombs falling from the sky. Obviously, this leaves me with no real desire to physically put myself in a place where this sort of thing is a regular occurrence. While I do sense the importance of going to Sderot and seeing for myself the damage that has been inflicted on this community, I have also been weighing the thought of not going. My gut has been saying, "Not now. Not this time. Maybe best to stay home this week." Yeah.
Of course, none of this was in my immediate frame of mind when my ankle decided to turn fancy colors last night. But it looks like Sderot is no longer on my activity calendar, and I am officially off my feet just in time for the Passover holiday to begin. In 11 days, I am heading to Jordan for a two day hike in Petra. This will be followed by a week of awesome adventures along the Nile River in Egypt, including a couple of overnight trains and a 5 day boat cruise through the Valley of Kings. But until then, I have no plans to fight the river within or around me. Let the Universe put me in bed for a week. At the very least, may it remind me that this is an excellent opportunity to slow down a bit, prop the foot, curl up with some tea, and add a few more pages to the doctoral dissertation.
Nothing is ever as bad as it seems.