Recently I had the opportunity to return to Starved Rock State Park, one of my favorite places to be in the world. Starved Rock is a park which has “18 canyons formed by glacial meltwater and stream erosion. They slice dramatically through tree-covered, sandstone bluffs for four miles at Starved Rock State Park, which is located along the south side of the Illinois River, one mile south of Utica and midway between the cities of LaSalle-Peru and Ottawa. The park is best known for its fascinating rock formations, primarily St. Peter sandstone, laid down in a huge shallow inland sea more than 425 million years ago and later brought to the surface.”
I hiked a bit, talked to folks fishing on the Illinois River (slow day but some catfish and white bass), visited the nature center, and enjoyed wonderful dancing and drumming at a Pow Wow happening at the park.
The Grandeur of God (as Gerard Manley Hopkins put it in his poem) never ceases to amaze me. The earth, including its people and creatures, is truly marvelous.
Here’s one of the canyons…
deerose May 20, 2008 at 6:06 am
Thanks for the video, Sr. Julie. Very nice. I too am attracted to nature. I especially love taking long walks on the beach, collecting shells to make prayer candles. Have you ever tried doing a sort of “lectio divina” with nature (a flower, tree, water, shell, etc.)? I have. It’s great – especially on silent retreats where you have plenty of time to reflect and process things. It really helps me connect with God.
Jen May 20, 2008 at 11:43 am
You know, I lived in that area of the world for 20 years or so, and never saw that park. Should drag the Hoopy Frood through that area, especially to a pizza run at Lou Malnati’s.
Amy May 20, 2008 at 5:42 pm
My priest mentioned on Sunday that Catholics see God’s creation everywhere. I hope (and think) that’s true for non-Catholics as well. One of my favorite hymns, based on a psalm, begins, “The heavens are telling the glory of God, and all creation is shouting for joy.” Amen!
Sister Julie May 21, 2008 at 3:22 am
Definitely, Jen — grab the HF and your hiking boots and spend some time at Starved Rock. The trails closest to the nature center have tons of people, but the further out you go, the more “wild” it gets. Trails take you along the river, into the canyons from from the ground, and on the bluffs of the canyons.
Amy, yes, it is true for non-Catholics as well. I love that song! One of my favorite’s is “For the Beauty of the Earth”.