It is not often that parents get to stand on the sidelines and watch their children find their dream and bravely go after it with all their hearts. It is an uplifting experience.
Our youngest daughter, Rachel, who views life through the eyes of a breast cancer survivor, has worked with her husband, Gili, for the past year and a half on creating a multi-faceted therapeutic compound on Moshav Nir Zvi.
While working as a riding therapist, Rachel came to the conclusion that most people in therapy really need more than one kind of approach; that true therapy should include many different paths to the soul of the patient. Together with Gili, a carpenter by trade and a farmer in spirit, they dreamed of building an ecological, holistic farm which would offer healing and growth through nature, animals, music and art.
They adopted an old pecan orchard and started to build their dream. Using recycled or discarded materials, Gili built a central home base - kitchen, storeroom, ecological bathrooms and showers, chicken coops, rabbit huts, a horse ring, a native American sweat lodge and teepee and a large geodesic dome to house holistic workshops.
They have cleared much, but not all, of the nine dunams of pecan trees and have planted fruit trees, vegetables and spices, which all grow organically of course. Their plans include a "food forest" based on the rain forests, which will produce sustainable agriculture in harmony with nature, stables for their horses, an eco-therapeutic pond, greenhouses to grow organic vegetables and more.
The eco-therapy Racheli uses in her treatments provides "a unique and rich toolbox (of experiences)" with which to view the world. A series of 15 meetings might include, for example, learning ancient skills of listening to the earth, organic gardening, survival skills, communication with animals, horseback riding and horse care, positive dog training, archery, music, drumming, art in nature, cooking and more.
Teva Haadam officially opened on May 30. It is located at Moshav Nir Zvi, near Tsrifin/Rishon LeZion. The farm is surrounded by open nature, peace and birdsong. All that, and only a 20-minute drive from Tel Aviv. In short - a good and accessible place in the center of Israel.
Their website (www.teva-haadam.co.il) is in Hebrew but has loads of pictures and their Headstart project (www.headstart.co.il/project.aspx?id=13632&lan=en-US) is in a kind of English J as well as Hebrew.
Just looking into the sparkling eyes of these hopeful young people makes you smile with a spirit of the 60s - without the beads and the drugs.
This is, without a doubt, one of the perks of parenthood J.