God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. Romans 5:20 NLT
A story of hypocrisy confronted with overwhelming love and grace…deeply moving.
Amazing grace How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me I once was lost, but now I’m found Was blind, but now I see ‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear And grace my fears relieved How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed My chains are gone I’ve been set free My God, my Savior has ransomed me And like a flood His mercy rains Unending love, Amazing grace
The Lord has promised good to me His word my hope secures He will my shield and portion be As long as life endures
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow The sun forbear to shine But God, Who called me here below Will be forever mine Will be forever mine You are forever mine
This morning I headed out west on a road ride of a classic loop that takes one through the picturesque community of Lumsden, Saskatchewan. The morning air was a little cool with a wind from the northwest. On my way out on highway 11 (also known as the Louis Riel Trail after the 19th century Métis leader), I came across thousands, if not tens of thousands of Monarch Butterflies sunning themselves (keeping warm) on the shoulder of the highway and fluttering about the Purple Flax and Canola fields. I can honestly say that, after a couple of decades of riding this route, I have never witnessed something so majestic. Of course, I had forgotten to mount my Garmin Virb camera on the bike before I set off this morning and have absolutely no evidence of this unique moment. Nevertheless, I was rewarded with, perhaps, a once-in-a-lifetime experience of the beauty and majesty of our natural world.
One of the best kept secrets, at least in terms of wilderness areas with very few visitors is Condie Nature Refuge, located west of Regina, Saskatchewan. The history of the area is somewhat convoluted, frequented and perhaps settled by the indigenous people of the Cree, Assiniboine, and Saulteaux tribes on the southern plains of Saskatchewan. In the past, there has been evidence of teepee rings and primitive tools discovered in the area. In fact, at one time there was a small museum situated there representing the history, including the flora and fauna unique to that area. Unfortunately, the museum building was torn down and most of the artifacts were most likely donated to the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Regina.
I have been visiting Condie Nature Refuge for over three decades and I never seem to grow weary of the place. Perhaps it is because the shoreline landscape is constantly changing through erosion. The little lake is indeed expanding its borders, the small animals like beavers, otters, porcupines, skunks, weasels, and gophers getting smaller in number with each passing year. Nevertheless, the area is still frequented by white tail and mule deer and is an oasis for birds of all shapes and sizes.
On this particular day I set out with a friend for a short walk along the northern shoreline of the lake to record the sights and sounds on a Panasonic mirrorless camera I had just picked up locally for a small sum of two hundred dollars. An exceptional deal given that the camera body and lens retailed, not so long ago, for over a thousand dollars.
I had no plan or script as to what I would be capturing digitally. I was just “winging it” and making eclectic choices to record whatever interested me along the way. Granted, having a plan and a script when shooting video is always a good idea as this leads to more productive post production and ultimately a much better story. But this day was going to be different in so many ways. A time to reminisce with an old friend and to enjoy our natural surroundings like we were intended to.
A few days later I sat down to edit the video I had accumulated. At first, I had no idea as to how I was going to put together a bunch of eclectic shots into some sort of coherent storyline. An almost impossible task until I realized why I frequent the refuge in the first place. Ultimately, I visit the area because it is so calm and peaceful. Almost a direct opposite of what life is like living in the city with so many people, constant traffic, noise, and even pollution.
With that in mind, I put together a HD movie that a person, such as yourself, can just toss up on the big screen and sit back and relax to soothing music and calming video. Sometimes we get so busy in life that we cannot differentiate the individual trees from the forest. From my perspective, one needs to see and experience both the forest (the big picture) and the trees (the details).
At the very least, that’s my story and I am sticking to it. Happy Canada Day! Cheers!
A bumble bee’s perspective of flowers (Iris) in our little English garden. The wind and heat has been hard on the flowers this season, so I thought I would preserve a moment in time for the delicate Iris bloom.
Wascana Park in central Regina is a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike. There is just something exquisite about having a beautiful man-made lake in the middle of a major city on the prairies of western Canada.
Without a doubt, one of my favourite parks to cycle through, whether it be on a fixed-gear city bike, a road bike, or even a time trial bike enroute to the straight and flat highways east of Regina.