by: Jane Bishop Halteman

October 19, 2015

In the last four years since I moved to South Bend, IN, I have become infatuated with the St. Joe River.  Located for the most part in southern Michigan, the river also winds its way through several northern Indiana towns including South Bend, a city which takes its name from its location at the river’s southernmost bend.

The banks of the St. Joe offer a quiet place for personal meditation and soaking up seasonal beauty.  I love the many riverside vantage points I’ve discovered around town and the ever-changing look of the river as the year unfolds month by month.

The St. Joe is faithful in all seasons as its banks proudly display sprouting buds in spring, green leaves in summer, the bright colors of fall foliage, and snow-graced limbs in winter.  The river’s moods are as plentiful as my own as the St. Joe floods or recedes, steams or freezes over, rushes along or ambles lazily.

The river nourishes fish, and birds, and animals and offers rest and relaxation to those who choose to sit by its welcoming shores or navigate it in one way or another.      

Its way of being in the world delights me…it listens well, it carries on despite the circumstances in which it finds itself, it’s always there for me, it reminds me on a regular basis to let go of the flotsam and jetsam in my life.  And it always invites me to take one more contemplative photo!

A few weeks ago, when I suddenly realized how massive my St. Joe River photo file had become, I created this YouTube video as a salute to my favorite local retreat space and as a reminder that I regularly feel a deep connection to the Creator through creation.

In what ways does the Divine’s gift of creation offer you delight, solace, courage, companioning?  As you are nurtured in this way by the Divine, do you also find yourself more able to live into prospering healing and hope for those around you?  In the words of Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, founders of the Spirituality and Practice website:  "We have to care for our own souls in order to have the energy and strength to care for our families, our neighbors, and the earth."