Touching the Face of God

When I need solace, I have always headed for the hills.  When I was 18, I travelled out to the Canadian rockies for the summer.   I had lost a good friend that year; he was killed crossing Mississauga Road after leaving a party.  I had never experienced the death of someone so close to me before so I was a wreck.  My friend, Beth, and I took a train to Calgary, and then thumbed a ride up to the Deer Lodge in Lake Louse.  We had no job lined up; just the name of a friend who was working there to recommend us.  We got jobs serving food in the cafeteria and were assigned spartan rooms in a building behind the lodge. 

This was a dream come true.  I, who had never seen the mountains before, went to sleep in a bunk bed with a view of the mountains.  I worked all day in a cafeteria that looked out at Lake Louise through ceiling to floor windows that covered an entire wall.  Lake Louise, a turquoise jewel nestled between two mountain ranges with a glacier spilling into the far end.   I spent all of my free time hiking around the lake and up into those mountains; often alone.  I came home to finish grade 13 feeling that I had found God that summer.

I don’t know how other people experience God but for me, it has always been through the earth.  When our children were young, we took them to a nearby conservation area every Sunday morning.  We joked about it being our “church” but there was more truth in the joke than we realized.   To my husband and I, this was our spiritual practice with our children.  We would spend an hour before the crowds arrived exploring a small lake; catching frogs, looking for the two snapping turtles with green moss on their backs, studying damselflies and dragonflies as they basked in the sun, watching for downy woodpeckers, chickadees and cootes. 

This quiet time stalking wildlife was meditative; a time of discovery and wonder for our kids; a time of peaceful attentiveness for us; a time of joy and pleasure.  This was our spiritual practice; it was our Sunday morning ritual; it was our time to appreciate the beauty in nature; connect with each other; and “touch the face of God”.

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About kp

I am a woman and a mother, a sister and a wife. I have called myself a socialist and a feminist, an environmentalist and an activist, a pagan and an atheist. But, at this stage in my life, none of these labels feel right. I am searching; trying to find an inner calm; trying to make peace with life's disappointments; trying to answer the big questions in my own small life.
This entry was posted in Love of Nature, Parenting & Family, Signs, God & Universe, Writing for your life and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Touching the Face of God

  1. Shari Green says:

    Lovely post. The mountains can definitely inspire a sense of the divine…. The ocean does that for me, too — the vastness and the power of it. Pretty amazing! :)

  2. Julie says:

    I felt the same way when I saw the Tetons in Wyoming for the first time.

  3. bjas says:

    What a beautiful post, I can think of many places I have traveled that make me feel this way. And sometimes, just being in my own backyard—–or sitting on my front porch will do it too.

  4. jazzminey says:

    I feel the same way about being in nature. I feel connected to life, a part of life. I feel the beauty and am filled with a sense of joy and peace. I don’t really get the same feeling going to a church. Although some churches are beautiful. Hiking around lakes, mountains, rivers, prairies, hills, valleys, deserts, woodlands, you name it brings me closest to a God’s presence.

  5. In my home state, it’s Lake Tahoe nestled in the Sierras. I’ve thought of it as one of the wonders of the world, and your beautiful picture says your lake is also a wonder of the world. The high-mountain lakes truly can ‘take the breath away.’
    In my next life, I hope to be a mom like you and take my children into nature to give thanks for all the love and beauty in the world. It must be pretty awesome to know they will likely do the same. :)

    • kp says:

      Hi Pam: That is a lovely thing to say but I am pretty certain that you are a mom who has shared that beauty with her children as well….you might have done so a little differently than me but I am sure you have done it!! Kim

  6. M says:

    Love the honesty of this post and the beautiful picture of Lake Louise. God is always around us and in us (as a believer). What we see in nature is God-made and how God intended it to be, that’s why, I think, we always feel so much connection and peace in nature.

    • kp says:

      It sounds like you know exactly what I meant when I wrote this…and that you feel the same!! Thanks for the affirmation….kim

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