This post is a tribute to some of the small creatures of nature that I pass by nearly every day when I’m out walking, but which are too often overlooked, and very often neglected in my blog.
I’ve written in the past about Perek Shira (literally, Chapter of Song) the mysterious and beautiful ancient text also sometimes known as the Song of Creation. Perek Shira is regarded as a “key to understanding the universe as a guide to life” (Rabbi Natan Slifkin, in Nature’s Song, 2001, p. 37), and each creature and element of the world around us has its own song. As Rabbi Slifkin writes, “The natural world embodies traits for us to emulate . . . something we can use as a living example from which to learn.”
Rabbi Slifkin compares the natural world with a symphony, “made up of a vast array of different components, all of which function together in perfect harmony.” (Nature’s Song, p.38). Just as in an orchestra, some pieces surely play greater and more important roles than others, yet every individual is essential to create the composite whole.
Whether we look up toward the skies or glance at the ground or in the water below our feet, there are special moments that we may miss if we go too fast. From a distance, I initially mistook the young Frog in the top photo above for a floating leaf or a twig, and then I realized he was swimming with all his energy to reach the safety of a pond lily leaf. And this slender Water Snake slithered by me almost unseen among the reeds. How sad it would have been if I had not noticed them!This female Red-winged Blackbird is another example of a little gem that I nearly walked right past. At first, I couldn’t see her, even after someone had pointed her out to me – but there she was, sitting on her cozy nest in full view of the walkway. What a joy~!
The verses of Perek Shira attribute many life lessons not only to living creatures (a disproportionately large number of which are birds, I must say), but also to the Elements of the Earth, the Elements of the Sky, and to the Trees and Plants. Just this week, I happened to notice many of these individual elements were captured in the photos I had taken on my recent walks – Hmmmm….
……More to come~