Celebrating the Season of Creation

Laudato si: wonder and care (2016)

Photo for celebrating the Season of Creation: the sun emerges from under the clouds as it sets in Donald, British Columbia by Betsey Crawford

Laudate si — Praise be! — are the opening words of each of the verses in Saint Francis’s beautiful Canticle to the Sun, and is also the title of Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical defining the Catholic Church’s doctrines on the care of the earth. September 1 starts the monthlong Season of Creation. To join a time meant to contemplate the glories of creation, and our role in caring for them, I wove some of Pope Francis’ words with pictures of the great luminous beauty of our world.

Laudato si repictured (2017)

Photo for celebrating the Season of Creation: big white clouds reflected in a very Dease Lake in British Columbia, Canada by Betsey Crawford

The following year I chose a new selection of photos of our gorgeous planet to go with the excerpts from Pope Francis’ revolutionary environmental encyclical.

The Season of Creation (2018)

Photo for celebrating the Season of Creation: common buckeye (Junonia coenia) Golden Prairie, Golden City, Missouri by Betsey Crawford

September 2018 was jumping, largely with global warming activism, so there was a lot to celebrate. I included some of the hubbub, and wove Francis’ words with quotes from other prayerful traditions. And, of course, pictures of the beauty we cherish.

Love against all odds: celebrating the Season of Creation (2020)

Photo for celebrating the Season of Creation: Fairy lantern (Chalocortus albus) along the Independence Trail in Rough and Ready, California by Betsey Crawford

2020 was a year when keeping zest alive and well was profoundly challenged. Yet losing it is our greatest danger. When it’s hardest to muster, we need it the most, to carry us through the decisions, tasks, and changes needed to heal our world.

As before, I paired photos with quotes, this year from poets, scientists, activists. All with a love fierce and gentle at the same time, to energize us through the challenges, to reach out to hearts that need it, to power us with strength and joy.

Attention is reverence: celebrating the Season of Creation (2021)

Checker lily (Fritillaria affinis) King Mountain, Tiburon, California by Betsey Crawford

Attention is the gift we give back to the amazement of living, as well as a gift we give ourselves. As we step into the moment — awake, aware, moved, interested, curious — we bring vivid aliveness to days that can slip by in a blur of activity and reaction.

I celebrate the yearly Season of Creation with quotes and photos that celebrate beauty, mystery, and wonder. For 2021 I chose the distilled visions of poets, masters of attention.

The depth of water: celebrating the Season of Creation (2022)

Raindrops on an upside down white poppy in a garden in California by Betsey Crawford

Our ancestors had it right: they worshipped water. And for this year’s Season of Creation I am joining them. Water’s presence on this planet is what makes every breathing, beating, chirping, leaping, flying, growing manifestation of life possible. For this, my sixth celebration of the Season of Creation, I’ve chosen photos, poetry, and prose that dive into the beauty, power, mystery, and meaning of water.

Taking wing: celebrating the Season of Creation (2023)

Face to face with a vivid orange, black, and white field crescent (Phyciodes pulchella) on top of tall purple fleabane (Erigeron peregrinus) in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada. Photo by Betsey Crawford.

We evolved on a planet filled with winged creatures. Soaring above us, buzzing around us, filling our air, inspiring us. They pull our eyes and minds upward, into the cosmos. Their colors dazzle us. Our ears have been attuned and our souls elated by their songs. They are harbingers of life, industry, mortality, joy. For Season of Creation 2023, I chose poetry and prose that ponder the beauty, mystery, and messages of winged beings.

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