Monday, October 12, 2009

The Wow of Nature

It is no surprise to any of my readers that I am a Heschel junkie. AJH wrote that our blessings are our human way of saying "Wow." And if the particular Jewish blessing doesn't come to mind, this nature rabbi writes that a "Wow" works just fine -- it causes us to pause and reflect and appreciate and be thankful.*

To set the mood:
This week I have been busy with my rabbinical work. There is no such thing as a part time rabbi, only part time pay. And because of the part time pay, I have been taking hospital and trauma chaplain shifts as often as I can, and I was fortunate to have a week full of shifts including yesterday. (Hence, the jewelry workshop was closed up tight -- no time for one little bead.)

I slept well last night. And at 8 a.m. this morning, I was still in glorious sleep mode. The dogs like to potty around 7, 7:30 at the latest. And my mastiff, Ruby can tell time quite accurately: she eats at 8 and 5, no exceptions. The plaintiff warble of my little foster chihuahua, Maddie woke me enough to open one eye and peak at the clock -- yep, 8 a.m. But I was still so sleepy and I couldn't help but roll over to drift right back into my dreams.

That lasted a nano second. Ruby had about enough of this waiting business and she lifted 135 pounds of her full figured frame and landed right on top of me (she is not allowed in the bed so this was highly unusual behavior). And of course, now I am trapped under a drooling, heavy mastiff.

All I had to say was, "Are you guys ready to go out?" Yepper -- like a chubby gazelle, she was off the bed. I saddled up the Littles first (Lex, my pekeapoo and Maddie) and gave them a quick potty break. Came back for Ruby -- the sacred art of walking Ruby has truly become the scared art of walking Ruby. I just bought a new prong collar so this was our first day of me walking her -- a quick potty and when I said, "Are you ready to eat?" she attempted to gallop (but for the prongs) home.

Still sleepy with bed head, pj's under my dog walking clothes, sleepy sand in my eyes and slumber on my eyelids -- you get the picture -- absolutely a mess, but a glorious one for sure.

I just poured myself a large cup of my new Intense Dark Roast, sat down on the side verandah which is Sukkah-like with a large lattice work roof covered by flame vines. I put my feet up on the table (don't tell), sipped my java, and as I lay my head back on the chair, the Intense Dark Roast deliciously rolled down my throat, I looked up.

And right over my head, on this beautiful October morning in SW Florida, was a large slice of the moon, and my Abraham Joshua Heschel WOW-moment. It was an immediate meditative response. My body just opened up to the fullness of the Universe, the Oneness of all Creation.

Happy pups around, coffee surging through my veins, a balmy Florida morning, feet up, head back and my gift: The moon was waiting to Wow me -- to say: Breathe me in. Celebrate the dance between day and night, the sun and the moon --- celebrate life.

And all was great in my world. Pause now: breathe --- how is life in your world today? And after your is it?

*Just like "Wow" can be a blessing in and of itself, "Thank you" can be a prayer.

pss -- I did not forget my promise to ponder the happiness set point from the last posting -- I just need to access my thoughts on it and they are filed a wee back in the old brain, but surely, not forgotten.

Go forth and celebrate Nature today -- the gift is awaiting you.

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