Companion for the Walk of the Stations of the Cosmic Earth

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Cosmic Stations Title Page

Experiencing Our Place in the Cosmos

Based upon a series of eight stained glass windows commissioned for the chapel at the Passionist’s Holy Cross Centre for Ecology and Spirituality, the stations depict significant moments in the evolutionary story of the universe and the pilgrim journey of humankind within that story.

Getting Started

Each station in the walk is represented by a plaque which stands about waist height along the south walkway. The first station of the walk can be found at the south entrance to the property, near the ramp to the underground garage.

Cosmic Stations Universe Flares

The Universe Flares Forth

Close your eyes. Feel the city thrumming through your feet. Hear the energy pouring forth from traffic, voices, bird calls, trees rustling, squirrels scurrying. Open your eyes. See the movement of leaves, grasses, birds and planes overhead, people walking by. All of this energy was created 13.7 billion years ago. Take a moment to reflect on your own response to this mystery.

Cosmic Stations Our Blue Green

Our Blue Green Planet Emerges

Feel the warm sun on your face. Drink in the colours revealed by the sun’s light. Summer brings us closest to the warmth and light of the sun; winter takes us farthest away from these necessary gifts of life. Pause and reflect on your response to the mystery that holds Earth in its constant relationship with its sun.

Life Emerges

Have you seen and touched the fossils of early life on Earth that are plentiful in the limestone exterior of St. Gabriel’s church? In the 450 million years since their time, life has continued to evolve in the spruce trees that are the backdrop to this station, and in the birds that cared for their young in the tiny nest-home on one of their branches to your left. What is the mystery that created and holds all of creation in being?

The Human Emerges

Humans belong to the species “Homo sapiens” – wise man. We belong to the family Hominidae – the great apes. Are we wise? Are we great? Wisdom begins with knowing yourself; knowing that you belong to the Earth Family, not the other way around, and knowing that family members take care of each other.

Cosmic Stations Cross Creation

Cross and Creation

The Cross is close to the earth and surrounded by colorful flowers, affirming that it is linked to the Story of Creation.

Cosmic Stations Rise Agriculture

The Rise of Agriculture

The community “farm” visible in the raised boxes nearby seeks to honour the web of life by using soil free of chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. Feel some soil between your fingers and marvel at the miracle of growth.

Cosmic Stations Rise Culture Religion

The Rise of Culture & Religion

Close your eyes. Breathe deeply and slowly exhale. Observe every sound. Feel every touch on your skin – the warmth of the sun or a soft drizzle, the movement of air, then just be. Here in the heart of this garden, life is striving and bursting around you in plant roots searching out minerals and moisture, leaves industriously producing food from sunlight, blossoms morphing into seeds, insects and animals gathering sustenance. And yet, we experience a profound stillness, and begin to grasp that our loftiest human reach is rooted in Earth.

Cosmic Stations Rise Science Tech

The Rise of Science & Technology

Current technologies – cellphones and social media, compete with nature in fulfilling our desire to belong. But only nature can lead you to a discovery of your true self, for you belong to it. As you stand at this station, become aware of the season, the warmth, the coolness, the plant life around you, the sounds, the beauty, the intense striving of life. Become aware that you are welcomed here by the plants, the ground creatures, the birds, the wind, the sun. You belong here among them, with them, to them.

The Rise of the Flowers

Flowers are the source of life’s great variety. Look intently at a blossom on a tree or a flowering plant. Admire its beauty, colour, scent, complexity and hardiness or fragility. Compliment its Creator, give thanks and welcome this relative of yours.