Yesterday I got to take a walk in the woods at one of my very favorite places, Caratunk Audubon Refuge. It is the place where I experience HaMakom, the name for God meaning just that: "the place." It is where I feel closest to God.
Yesterday I recited the morning blessings on my walk, taking my time with each word, savoring each name of God, opening my eyes wide to my surroundings: the birds, frogs, dragonflies, butterflies, and chipmunks; the trees, flowers, berries, mushrooms, and moss; the trickle of a stream, the still waters of a pond, the ancient rocks and boulders. I know this place well and I savor every detail of its constantly changing, complex eco-system.
Every time I walk in Caratunk, I think to myself at least once, "I am the luckiest person in the world." What an enormous blessing it is to be able to soak in the beauty of this beloved place. What an enormous blessing it is to have such spacious time to myself.
And when I overflow with gratitude, I become like a fountain of blessings, giving and receiving.
Baruch atah adonay, eloheynu chey ha'olamim, oter yisrael betifarah. Blessed are you, the beautiful, our God, life of all the worlds, who crowns Israel with splendor.