Grasslands, Saskatchewan

Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan

Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan, Canada in 2011

I’ve been thinking about our trips to Grasslands National Park in Saskatchewan, Canada.  Perhaps it’s because we were there last year at this time.  The land that we hiked on was unlike anything I’d experienced before, having grown up in eastern North America near forests, rivers and within two hours of the Atlantic Ocean.

Lichen on rock in Grasslands National Park, 2011

I’m usually uncomfortable using the word spiritual because of its overuse in some circles.  However, in trying to describe the experience of being on the grasslands, it’s a word we used frequently.  We felt close to something larger than our small lives, elemental and of great depth.  We walked on hills and climbed to the top of buttes and looked out over land and sky stretching as far as we could see in all directions.  No buildings or trees blocked the sky.  We came upon stones with patterns of orange, black and white lichen growing on them, wildflowers, grasses, dwarf aspens and mule deer.

The slow deep resonance of the land has remained with me.  It’s an antidote to states of frenzy and a lifeline to the oft forgotten larger world of nature that we have arisen from.

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