Scintilla ’13: Prompt 11

The Scintilla Project is winding down. So for just a few more days, I’ll be writing on the prompts they’ve been e-mailing me.

Prompt 11: Write about an experience you had that was so strange or incredible that it sounds like it could have been made up.

It has to be seen to be believed.

Of all of the things on our Birthright trip itinerary, the Dead Sea was one of the things I was looking forward to the most by far.

I’m not going to get all self-righteous and tell you that it was on my bucket list or something, because it’s not, and I don’t have one of Those.

But I like to think that most people, given the opportunity to Go There, would be thrilled to have the chance.

Then the day came and I was in a mismatched swimsuit at the lowest point on earth. Any and all practical thoughts about Not Shaving or Avoiding Cuts had vanished, and I was rubbing mineral-laden mud from a 10 gallon bucket all over myself.

Not kidding. Look.

Dead Sea 1

It was a sunny, 60 degree day, which was unseasonably pleasant for January in Israel. Our thankfulness for the weather tempered with the reality that swimming at 60 degrees is a vastly different proposition than swimming at 80 degrees.

Because the Dead Sea is 8.6 times saltier than the ocean, it is a body of water that comes with instructions.

I am not a terrifically buoyant person. I am a confident swimmer, yes. But if we were in a float-off, I would probably lose before we even got properly started.

So when Tsach, our trip leader, enthusiastically chirped at us that once we were knee-deep in the sea we were to Sit Down In The Water, I’m sure you can understand how I raised an eyebrow at the situation.

It has to be seen to be believed.

Covered in mud, I waded into the water. I made it up to my waist before I found Alli floating in front of me, pleading with me to Sit Down Already.

Dead Sea 2

And with no more effort than it takes to sit down on a couch or collapse into bed, I found myself sitting very nearly on top of the water.

It has to be seen to be believed.

Dead Sea 4

20 minutes later, my fear of floating gone, I continued to flip and roll on top of the water like a happy sea otter. Kicking my legs up. Pointing my toes. Lounging on my side.

Noam, one of our Israelis, looked at me and said, “The look on your face is that of a small child.”

Dead Sea 3

And he was right. For those weightless minutes, I was a tiny pup without a care in the world.

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2 responses to “Scintilla ’13: Prompt 11

  1. How fun. The two last pictures are so great! I love the last one so much. So great that you got to have this experience. Love ya,

    Shaunaxoxox

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