The other day, I had a beautiful memory of a special moment in my early 20’s; circa 1990. Having recently relocated from New York City to South Florida, I just discovered wind chimes and found them totally enchanting. I felt like listening to them is listening to the music of the wind.
During that time I attended a university which had a wide open lawn. Perched in the center of the lawn was a wooden gazebo. Hanging from it’s concave center was a very finely crafted wind chime. I used to sit in the gazebo and meditate to the pretty tonal sounds, hoping for a message from the pleasant breezes.
Having been taught in my spiritual studies that the whole universe is like God’s “garments”, I had hoped to learn how to see and hear His messages from the movements of His “garments”. This included the movements of the sun, moon, stars, birds, animals, fish, streams, ocean waves, natural sounds, cloud formations, thunder, rain ...
Some may have thought this an effort in the direction of augury; forbidden by Judaism. However, I was not seeking to predict the future, just to have an active line of communication with my Creator. I was so awe struck by just His “garments” and marveled such at His mystery that fell in love with Him. And what’s a relationship without a continual flow of active communication?
Looking back, did I ever feel that I absorbed a message from the breezes? Did the melodious wind chime in the gazebo ever speak to me? No, it hadn’t. It would be too simplistic to say that I felt like I was addressed in a language which I simply did not understand, as if stopped by a foreigner groping for directions. Actually, I felt more like a fish asked to describe the water or as a person asked to describe his or her own face without having ever looked into a mirror. Whether or not this was true, this was how I truly felt.
After trying to hear the wind chime’s message, I continued on to meditate regularly in nature. I lived in South Florida throughout the decade of the 1990’s. I regularly meditated along the nature trails of Greynolds Park (on the lush banks of the Oleta River) and sometimes even in the Florida Everglades. Being mosquito infested, the nature trails in South Florida are usually not great places to sit in one spot for too long. So, I’d stroll the trails talking to God along the way. I referred to these sessions as “walkie talkies”. Though not by conscious choice, in most cases the “talking” was mental rather than oral.
During these outings into nature, I cannot claim to have discerned the messages of the Creator’s “garments”. Still, the natural setting did serve as a ripe environment for me to hear the messages of my own soul. Plus, the Creator’s “garments” did serve as a great resource and inspiration for contemplation and self-realization.
Over and over again, I remember realizing how privileged I was to be privy to the artwork of the greatest Artist in all existence. I strolled passed streams, and wooded areas in utter awe over the Divine Artist Who created all of this! I marveled at how the artistic scene I see here and now will never ever be seen again. Unlike a static painting in a museum, it shifts and is constantly re-painted each mili-fraction of a second. The cloud formations populating the expanse of the sky and framing the tree tops, are constantly reshaping. The sun’s position is in orbit. The birds are on the move. The turtles are swimming. The crabs side step their way between the river and their holes. The coconuts bob along in search for solid soil. The breezes constantly shift their intensity and direction. Even some feral monkeys play among the branches. And watch out, there’s a huge spider web! Yes, it too is part of the art, just don’t get entangled. LOL
Perhaps, I was never intended to hear God’s language through nature. I was just intended to be immersed in a fertile setting to hear my own soul. I guess where He talks, so does the soul.