Laudato Si Walk 3 of 6

Station #2--is an attempt at a having a heart and mind rinse, hoping to meet and be more deeply attracted to a refreshing, uplifting and unmistakable Power. In fact the prophets invited listeners to find renewed strength in their times of trial by contemplating the all-powerful Creator of the universe. My goal in this station, a 15 minute walk along the shore of Wascana Lake, is to try to see creation through the eyes of a mystic, like St. Francis of Assisi. My approach is to become more keenly aware of the realities, yes the mysteries that lie above and below the water, the land, and any existing clouds. My intention is to go on a binge, to become intoxicated by the sights, sounds and images of creation! This will go beyond the mere study and appreciation of nature. As I walk, I allow myself to think only within the bounds of: 1) Would you look at that…listen to that…smell that…feel that…!  and   2) What? How big is that? How can all this be? Why is this here and who can make such things?! 

I’ve found this can be quite overwhelming, as I focus on the One pouring the drinks, filling my glass with wonder and awe. In this intoxication of sensory experience, as I focus on the variety and shades of sounds and 

sights that insects, birds, brushes, flowers, trees bring, I can come close to having what might be called an “out-of-body experience”. I see the caterpillar crawling on the ground and think of the butterfly flying in the air, or see the acorn and think of the oak tree! Is that a spider web over there in the bushes? I reach down to take a handful of rich dirt--I am holding over 4 billion organisms.

One day I decided to walk while it was raining. I wanted to experience, first hand, the earth’s watering system, thinking about evaporation, condensation, clouds, while watching the wide-spread goodness falling on grass, trees and flowers—what a delightful way to get wet! I take myself beyond Wascana Lake, to the rainforests and the coral reefs, to these networks of caring friends, holding life—indeed human life-- in their hands. Add to this reminders of sunsets, Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon…is there anyone who can’t venerate the Intelligence behind the crafting of such breath-taking delights? Humanly speaking, it is possible to describe many processes of nature, but where would I start if I were asked to create a worm, some grass and a tree?

I use my mind to place myself beyond the clouds, in deep outer space. I imagine looking back in order to get a kaleidoscopic view of the earth, spaceship earth, our ‘common home’. I see a beautiful white and blue tilted planet, encased by a thin cellophane-like covering of air, spinning and orbiting around our sun. Oh, but our sun is only an average sized star, releasing energy equivalent to 100 billion tons of dynamite exploding every second, and existing in relation to the spiral-shaped organization of about 300 billion stars all of which comprise the galaxy we call the Milky Way. This cluster of stars, flying together under the 

constraints of gravitational pull, measures about 100, 000 light years across, and is travelling outward at a speed of 600 km/sec! Telescopes and a bit of mathematics tell us that there are over 200 billion galaxies! What? How overwhelming is all of that? It is time to come back down to earth...

Pondering the exhibition and scale of such power and intelligence prompts new questions. In view of such vastness, just how important are people in the scheme of things, anyway? Is every person conceived in her mother’s womb to be willed, loved and found necessary? More specifically, what about me? Who am I? Where did I come from, why am I here and where am I going? Since stars can’t answer such questions, it is time for a channel change. I need to encounter a level of wisdom that can speak to my heart about such questions.