October 23, 2019

Inaugural Cosmic Walk Welcomes Visitors in Benson, Vermont

Anne Curtis rsm (far left) leading the Cosmic Walk at Mercy Ecospirituality Center

The first Cosmic Walk organized by the Mercy Ecospirituality Center took place on Saturday, October 5. The Sisters of Mercy began Mercy Ecology, Inc. 10 years ago, establishing a Center on the 39 acres of rolling meadows and farmhouse in Benson, Vermont. Formerly known as Mercy Farm, Mercy Ecospirituality Center is a small retreat house with gardens, woodland trails and small animals that help us to reconnect to the natural world. Our mission is to inspire reverence for Earth and to live in harmony with creation.

The Sisters of Mercy are committed to the care of creation. As long-time educators and religious leaders, they see the need and importance of learning and reflection for living in right relationship with Earth. Mercy focuses on ways to integrate spirituality and sustainability through programs in ecospirituality. The Center is also available for individuals or groups seeking quiet and retreat time.

Mercy Ecospirituality Center Executive Director, Sister Anne Curtis stated, “Our new Cosmic Walk is a wonderful addition to our land. We hope it will invite those who walk it to better understand our relationship to all of creation and live more gently on this beautiful planet.”

Added Sister Lindora Cabral, Chairperson of the Mercy Ecology, Inc. Board of Trustees, “ The New Cosmic Walk, which is through the woods of our land in Benson, Vermont, invites participants to walk and witness the past through words and symbols and observe the present as we feel our environment through the land, trees, and creatures all around us. A wonderful Earth experience! "

Visitors are invited to take The Cosmic Walk by calling in advance: 802-537-4531. A booklet illustrating the 22 milestones along the path is also available. The walk is only open during the daylight hours.

Walking the Cosmic Walk at Mercy Ecospirituality Center
I recently watched a 60 Minutes segment on how plastic and trash is devouring our oceans and shorelines around the globe. What stays with me are images of pristine beaches with sparkling aqua water gently rolling ashore. Then the scene pans across the white sand and plastic, garbage, and dead birds fill the television screen. You can see pieces of plastic in the carcasses of the birds… It sickened me, both physically and emotionally.
The images and feelings came back to me as I walked the newly created Cosmic Walk, through the woods of Mercy Ecospirituality Center in Benson, VT. The contrast was jarring as the quiet and towering trees filled me with a “cathedral-like” sense. It was unsettling to try to hold the images of the garbage as I walked the amazing story of our unfolding universe, our creation story.
The Cosmic Walk marks the great flaring forth from 13.7 billion years ago through the first stars and planets, to today's life on Earth and our own evolution, which in "universe time" is about 5 minutes ago. The walk is a way of journeying through the miracle of all life unfolding. It astounds to think of that first burst of energy and light giving life to everything! As I walk, I am more deeply drawn to identify with the creation and grasp the depth of my interdependence and communion with Earth, the heavens, and all beings. Then I am aware of the breeze, the touch of the Divine around and within everything! How can I not exclaim that all is sacred? And how can I not mourn the dumping of trash, tons of plastic into our vast oceans? The words of Thomas Berry come to me, "The universe is the primary revelation of the divine, the primary scripture, and the primary locus of divine-human communion."  I know and experience this as I walk the story.

I find the Divine and am found by the Divine in that walk, in the cathedral of the woods.  Our sacred story fills me with awe and wonder each time I step into it. It invites the question, how do you act once you know our sacred story, once you know you are intrinsically connected with all that is? Once you know that the Divine is in all of life?

-Anne Curtis rsm

Messages to: Anne Curtis rsm -  Mercy Ecology Executive Director

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