In “The Great Work” Thomas Berry wrote “humans in the natural order of things belong to,
are possessed by, and are subject to the geographical place where they reside.” We need to
become more intimate with the place where we live. When we do that, we are a lot less likely to
exploit that place. Knowing God, he says, involves knowing well the place where we reside.
Those of you who have lived in Baraboo a lot longer than I have appreciate the many places of stunning natural beauty which are very close-by and accessible. One of those places is Devil’s
Lake State Park. One Sabbath day, I hiked up the East Bluff and then enjoyed what felt like a well deserved rest when I reached Devil’s Doorway. (And I had taken the slower, more gradual route
to the top!) Recently Jim and I took our first hike of the spring up the West Bluff on a Wednesday morning.
Being in nature it is very easy to feel close to the Creator. Being among living, growing, green plants and trees restores our spirits and our souls. When we spend a morning hiking at Devil’s Lake, it can be entering into sacred time and space. We become aware of our relationship to all of creation. Nature can be a portal through which we enter into relationship with God and all that is. Though drawing on exclusively masculine images, the Christian doctrine of the Trinity points to the truth we experience in being in nature: that relatedness (and relationship) is at the foundation of existence. The Father eternally sharing love with the Son, the Son’s love for the Father constantly flowing and the result is the Spirit eternally coming into being. Implicit in the doctrine of the Trinity, is the truth which Thomas Berry alludes to: we are children of Mother Earth
and God the Father. My faith tells me, the two are one.
Along with you, I look forward to many hikes in Devil’s Lake this summer (and visits to other places of natural beauty in Sauk County). Being intimate with the place where we live is a powerful way to “say yes” to, and experience the presence of, the living God.
Love in Christ,