Sometimes it isn’t birds that capture my attention on my walks. Sometimes it’s the reptiles, the amphibians, the fish, the plant life whose beauty just makes me stop in my tracks.
Experiencing, and truly appreciating, the wonder of the natural world on a daily basis has become more and more essential to me in recent years. Every morning I read a chapter in Perek Shira, The Song of Creation. I’ve written a little about Perek Shira in earlier posts, but this short video from Rabbi Lazer Brody gives added perspective about its meaning:
A famous tale is told about how Rebbe Nachman of Breslov looked down onto the street from his window, and saw one of his followers rushing by in the marketplace. Rebbe Nachman called out, “Have you looked up at the sky this morning?” When the man replied that he hadn’t had the time, R. Nachman admonished him by reminding him about ‘the transient nature of this world and the eternity of the next’, and asked, “What’s so important that you don’t have time to look at the sky?” (The Empty Chair, 2008).