June 3, 1996
Our story this week is drawn from a collection produced by the students of the school at the Stony Mountain Correctional Institute in Stony Mountain, Manitoba. Glen Kirk Carifelle's story speaks of the spiritual strength that the natural world's beauty and solitude may provide to us in difficult times.
Every morning, soon after waking even while dressing or having my nourishing breakfast, while sitting in the dinner hall, looking out the window, I saw visions of most beautiful places. In whatever direction I happened to be looking the physical view of the wall, door, ceiling, or whatever it was, would disappear. In its place would gradually come valleys, gentle slopes, lovely trees and banks covered with flowers of every shape and the scene seemed to extend for many miles, and I was conscious that I could see much farther than was possible with the ordinary physical scenery around me. "What through the radiance which was once so bright be now forever taken from my sight and thoughts, nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flowers, we will keep the strength in what remains behind." "There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one, and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed laws of gravity, from so simple a beginning, endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are, being evolved:
[Used with permission, from Spirit Within Our Dreams, Editorial Collective of Meegwetch Wichiwakan, Stony Mountain, Manitoba, 1994, p. 53]