Stations of Creation
Walk/hike with me on a nature trail and allow yourself to be surprised by a Station of Creation. That might seem a big order but let me show you how easy it is.
I am unabashedly a lover of nature. My earliest memories of being awed by nature was when I was a child. That would be in the early 40s.
I have shared with you in an earlier igNation blog (June 27, 2015) that I grew up in New Brunswick’s Upper St. John River Valley. We lived on the east side of the river.
In winter the river would be frozen over and when the moon rose it would give rise to long shadows on the snow covered ice of the trees along the bank of the river. As the moon got higher in the sky these shadows would be less long. It was as if they were alive and had walked!
This was my first encounter of what I would now call a Station of Creation. I had noticed, I was aware of what I had seen and allowed it to leave a deep impression on me. I was awed by what I had seen.
As a Jesuit I now understand that God was sharing God’s self with me through the enormity of God’s creation.
As you walk/hike on your favourite path or trail be on the lookout for a scene that would make an award winning (well near award winning!) photograph.
When you have found it Stop, Look and See. Do not be in a hurry to move on, but let what you see move you. As the saying goes, “Take it in.” Then in my mind I would focus on the best possible frame of the scene as if I am taking a photograph.
You may experience feelings of Amazement, Awe and Wonder from what you are Seeing. If this is true, I would suggest this scene could be a Station of Creation for you.
As a Christian you are filled with an enormous sense of Gratitude. At this moment you are experiencing the presence of the Creator in creation! Remember the experience and do not hesitate to revisit the scene, sooner than later.
In summary we have moved from Stop, Look, See, Amazement, Awe, Wonder to GRATITUDE. Do not forget the gratitude, it is the gift of the Creator to you in this moment!
I am now living at the Jesuit Infirmary in Pickering, Ontario. On a good day Pickering is about a 45 minute drive east of Toronto. I am so blessed for I am surrounded by a conservation area.
For the most part it is a wooded area and in the valley is the West Duffin Creek. Over the years the residents in the neighbourhood have created walking trails through the area. These trails are all the more natural for they are not groomed. I stand out walking the trails for I do not have a dog!
I have two favourite walks. One I will call the Creek Walk and the other the Forest Walk that is on the top of the valley. I am pleased to share with you some of my favourite photos from these walks.
It goes without saying that some of these photos are MY Stations of Creation. I am a frequent visitor of these Stations for they provide peace, joy, happiness and nourishment to my soul. Then, in that moment I can say I have seen the Lord! God was sharing God’s self with me in this Station of Creation.
May this be your experience as you walk/hike on your favourite path or trail.
I would like to leave you with verse 2 of a well known hymn/prayer, How Great Thou Art.
“When through the woods and forest glades I wander and hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees; When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur and hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze, Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee. How great thou art, how great thou art!”
A hymn/prayer that gives praise and thanks to the Creator who gifts us/ME with all that God has created. Indeed, My God, how great thou art!
All photos courtesy of Paul Baker, SJ