Hoopoe 2

Back to the Drawing Board

The groundwork for this particular trip took about eighteen months to gestate, with me knocking on several doors in Israel trying to share my vision for our forthcoming film project Jerusalem or Bust. (Scroll down for Hoopoe Video)

My desire was to connect directly with the ‘Indigenous Gatekeepers’ of this land, those sensitively tuned into Creators heartbeat, folks willing to help facilitate this Pow Wow on their soil. Initially my request received an apathetic response – Bless you…but….bye…. As is often the way with the visionary path – it`s not always neat and tidy – whilst an individual may see things that are not as yet – conveying them to others can be quite a different story. People find it especially hard to get on board someone else’s dream Maybe the project was a bit too crazy for them….at this time?

hoopoe shadow
A period of reflective soul searching ensued, as I pondered if this was still the right direction to take?

Suddenly I sensed the expedition was on! – this was serendipitously confirmed  with several financial gifts from generous supporters – finally a last-minute invitation from Captain Jeremy McWilliams to come aboard the aptly named Next Wave tall ship ~ and so  we set sail on our incredible voyage.

It was whilst floating on the Mediterranean briny that this voyage got divinely settled by the innocuous boarding of the national bird of Israel the Hoopoe, who it turns out to be in scriptural terms not at all “kosher”, never the less we were extremely delighted she chose our craft to land on. Soon lots of questions began to arise… Why did she choose us or was she sent and if so, for what purpose? Personally speaking I was really intrigued why this little Chiquita decided on my gentile shoulder to set upon?

Discussing these thoughts with one of my fellow sojourners Dave Baker, he concluded that Hoopoe’s arrival may just be the divine answer to the ‘gatekeeper’ question which I had been seeking… “go on,” I replied.

“Well think about it, you’ve been knocking on all these earthly indigenous doors without a positive reply – but this request is a Heavenly one to find the Spiritual Gatekeepers – so you need a Heavenly reply!” Dave said.

At first I thought Dave’s proposal seemed a bit farfetched until the following day we found ourselves in the Old City streets of Jerusalem’s Jewish quarter in an area called the ‘Cardo’ were we became fascinated by a brightly painted mural depicting the scene of how life would have looked back in Roman times. This area is always busy with lots of tourists, today was no different with the arrival of another international group, as we all stood there admiring the fresco, one of our gang Lorraine Belfield  from North Wales was ear wigging the commentary being given by the groups tour guide, especially when he was asked what the name of the bird was cited at the top of the painting, the guide looked up and hesitantly replied “actually, I don’t know”.

In steps Lorraine with her singing Welsh accent “I might be able to help you there – it’s called a Hoopoe, see – one of these birds flew onto our ship the other day as we were sailing on the Mediterranean Sea” the whole tour group turned to hear firsthand what our friend had to share.


It’s that bird again – Look where the artist has placed it ‘Outside the Frame but still Inside the Picture’. Another clue reveals itself.

Still not certain where all this is leading suffice to say Hoopoe was the best lead yet. Hence we followed our noses along the trail which led us high above the hills of lake Galilee, where guess what more Hoopoe’s this time depicted in a staircase mural in a friend’s house a place I’d never visited before. Feeling quite euphoric that we’d followed the right lead to get us here, somehow knowing that this was exactly the place we needed to be on this next part of our journey.

It seemed extra specially wonderful when I considered that we had no earthly maps to guide us just a sense of smell so to speak. OK we were here I`m lovin’ it ‘Hoopoe marks the spot’ but the biggy question is… Why?

So I went for a lonely stroll along a narrow road between two barley fields overlooking the Sea of Galilee, as I walked lyrics began to form in my mind about the Hoopoe, so I started to sing them out into my mobile phone voice recorder – whilst I was singing, I had the strangest sense that I was actually standing in Naphtali a biblical boundary line – the same physical area that the prophet Isaiah prophesied about in his ninth chapter:-

 In the past, people thought the land of Zebulun and Naphtali was not important. But later, that land will be honoured—the land along the sea, the land east of the Jordan River, and Galilee where people from other nations live.  Those people lived in darkness, but they will see a great light. They lived in a place as dark as death, but a great light will shine on them. Isaiah 9: 1-2  

I couldn’t wait to get back home and look up these scriptural map references and yep sure enough – I was there! How comfortingly spooky is that!? Inspiration didn’t stop there but gathered momentum; the results can be seen below in the Hoopoe video.

More in Part Three…


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