Photos, sometimes with Commentary, from a lay Catholic.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
A Walk in the Woods
We are currently blanketed in snow, with gray skies overhead. The winter is only fresh upon us, but I am already dreaming of green grasses and warm breezes. I philosophically tell myself that the winter months are good for the soul, and that they create a desire for something greater. They reveal our vulnerability, our need for shelter and protection. They put me in touch with myself; I become more introspective and I see my faults and weaknesses more clearly. Life becomes more difficult, more challenging.
Spring and summer are full of possibilities and promise. They are months of confidence and life is easy (easier).
In the late summer we took a walk through a park which is a good thing to do. It was early morning in this case, but early or later in the evening are also beautiful times for getting out in the natural world. The pine forest filters the light and the needles make the path quiet. It is like a conversation with God. Stripped of the man-made distractions of daily life, it is healing to be alone in the woods. The mind is emptied of the build-up of worldly concerns, and our vision becomes clear.
I recently had the opportunity to see a movie, "The Human Experience". It has given me so much to think about. There are a number of excellent quotes peppered into the story line, but I had to look one of them up when I got home because it was so true, and so worth considering.
Martin Luther King had many profound and challenging things to say about the way we live. Here's a thought for now:
"We must rapidly begin to shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered."
I'm a wife, a mother of grown children, and work full time as a nurse practitioner with cancer patients. My work is gratifying often, and difficult and sad sometimes, too.
I'm average and extraordinary, just as you are. I've experienced profound failures, significant disappointments, had a few successes, and been the recipient of a lot of mercy. I try to keep perspective on what's important in life, and not get too upset about the rest.
My Catholic faith is important to me, and while I'm no theologian, it's my intention that my faith inform my outlook and values, and inspire personal virtue. I love that God desires to reveal himself to us. I love the small hints, the little bread crumbs, the multiple clues, and the pieces of the puzzle that dot the created world and point to the hand of the Creator. I love that He uses beauty, art, science, all his creatures and the invisible realm of our heart and emotions to communicate His goodness to us. And I love that the fullness of his love can be seen in the sacrifice of his son, Jesus, which makes me free.