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The Sky Over Our World

The Sky Over St. Luke’s … Chicago … Lake Michigan … the World

by Joe Scarry

We will recognize Sunday, September 16 — falling in the middle of the Season of Creation — as “Sky Sunday.” One of the things I will be thinking about on Sky Sunday is my favorite movie – “Der Himmel Uber Berlin,” or “The Sky Over Berlin” — better known to many of us by its official English title, “Wings of Desire.”  The film is not really about the sky, but rather about what comes down out of the sky. It is a reminder to us that, if we are ever tempted to think that our lives have become pretty one-dimensional, we would do well to imagine the possibilities of miracles surrounding us in every direction.

On Sky Sunday, I will also be thinking about the sky over Chicago — especially when that sky is filled with birds on their semi-annual migration. Or, to be more precise, I will be thinking about the treetops by the lakeside filled with migrating birds, seen against the background of the fall sky.

One of the best places to come down to earth and enjoy all of this — birds, trees, lake, sky, peace — is the nature area at Montrose Harbor I first discovered this area over ten years ago.  I was admiring some of the birds in the park near my home in Lincoln Park, and a passerby said, “If you enjoy this, you will like the Magic Hedge!” (The “Magic Hedge”?) When I asked how one could find one’s way to the Magic Hedge, the person replied, “Oh, just go up to Montrose Harbor … and follow the people with binoculars!” And he was right!

The Montrose nature area — including the Magic Hedge and the shorebird habitat on the dunes — is one of the most wonderful things about living in Chicago.  Once a month I go there to join others to do a little bit of nature stewardship (weeding and other tasks), and a lot of nature enjoyment and fellowship. As the person who organizes our “work days” told me, “for many people, this area is their church.”

Perhaps on Sky Sunday — and the days following — we can all take the challenge of the expansiveness of the sky to think about the active part we all need to play in order to be fully attentive to the wonder of God’s Creation that is all around us.

On Saturday, September 29, 9 a.m. to noon, join others from St. Luke’s to participate in the Montrose Beach Dunes Stewardship . (Meet at the beach house at Montrose Beach.) The 29th will be a celebration of National Public Lands Day, so many types of volunteers will be present at the dunes and it would be a good day to learn about restoration activity.  Please RSVP to Joe Scarry so he can be sure to connect with you on the morning of the 29th.

Read more about stewardship at Chicago’s nature areas here.

Thanks Alanna Skye Huck-Scarry, for photos of the sky over Lake Michigan!

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