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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Standing on a hilltop in Haifa

Once upon a time, I stood midway up the hill in Haifa. Hill. Mountain. Garden. If you’ve been to Haifa, you know what I’m talking about. I was standing next to a house with a street number that seemed significant when my phone rang. A man calling to check on my safety. He knew that I’d been worried about traveling to the north alone and wanted to see if I was safe, did I have somewhere to eat dinner, was I enjoying myself.

My heart just about burst.

Not from altitude, but from a recognition that this must be it. The elusive feeling I’d been looking for since high school. Something I’d missed through college, Colorado, London, Chicago. I found it standing on the side of a mountain in Haifa, holding a rented phone to my ear with a yet-to-be broken camera in my hand.

I was wrong.

I’m always wrong.

I mistake hospitality for more. I mistake professional respect for more. I mistake customer service for more.

But that moment, the moment before I realize that I’m wrong again, that moment is golden. When my heart starts to fill up and I don’t realize that I’m making a mistake, that moment is delicious. I relish the few mornings when I wake up thinking about the latest man, my newest crush.

The hopeful moments before reality once again takes control.

A reality that includes geography (would it kill me to like a guy in Chicago?), travel (would it kill me to spend an entire month in one city?) and the women they are already dating.

But the moment before I take all that into account… That one look from across the table. I’m going to take that moment to the bank, put it into a mutual fund and… I’m out of financial analogies and all this energy? It should be focused on my taxes and entering receipts. Something more practical than having a crush.

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