A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Getting Back to Nature

Posted on: September 23, 2013

Yesterday afternoon, autumn officially arrived.

For me, one of the joys of fall is being able to take my dog for a walk. Since English bulldogs don’t cope well with heat and humidity, much of Molly’s summertime exercise involves her scooting up and down the hall and chasing toys. In the fall, we can have a nice walk around the park, either early or late in the day, before she’s out of puff. Dew on the grass is nothing to her when there are intriguing smells to smell.

Bulldog with a football

My dog, Molly, trying to pick up a football

And fall weather is great for us to go bike riding or walk on one of the trails in the area. Or play a game of H-O-R-S-E in the driveway, if we don’t mind losing to an athletic thirteen-year-old.

Even if we’re just on the deck rather than out and about, fall offers many opportunities to enjoy nature: squirrels stocking up on nuts and seeds before winter, birds filling up on insects, trees still leafy and maybe just starting to change colour, fresh air, and great views of the moon and stars on clear evenings.

All of this natural beauty speaks to us about God’s power, as we read in Psalm 19:1, 3-4*:

The heavens are telling the glory of God;

and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.

There is no speech, nor are there words;

their voice is not heard;

yet their voice goes out through all the earth,

and their words to the end of the world.

Much remains to be learned about our own planet, not to mention the universe. Often we see reports on the latest discoveries, such as distant planets that might be able to sustain life and animals found not to be extinct. As Wisdom 13:5 reminds us, the amazing variety and splendour of creation points to God:

For from the greatness and beauty of created things

comes a corresponding perception of their Creator.

So as we enjoy the outdoors over the next couple of months, I pray that we would take a moment to thank God for the beauty of his creation. Whether we live in the valley or the mountains, by the ocean or on the prairies, in the country or downtown, I pray that we would notice the small or large wonders of nature and remember that “the author of beauty created them” (Wisdom 13:3).

(*Quotes from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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