sacred sundays: uisge ban falls


I was raised by an agnostic and a Buddhist, both of whom didn’t care one way or another for church services. As a result, my brother and I weren’t discouraged nor encouraged to attend church – if we wanted to, we could, but our parents weren’t going to take us.

Because of this upbringing I’ve explored a variety of faiths and traditions, not necessarily trying them on, but listening to their perspectives. Checking them out. Deciding for myself if I think God exists, and what form he or she might take.

As it turns out I do think there is a God. But I’m not convinced He is a man, in the sky, making judgements. (If that’s your personal view, that’s cool too, though. It’s all good. Just don’t hurt anyone else, that’s how I feel.) I believe God is in all of us, and all around us, and everywhere else too. I think God is man, woman, earth and sky all rolled into one. Beyond that I don’t know. I think there is a lot I don’t know about the world, but that I ought to respect its magnitude and bounty nonetheless.


Last Sunday I went out to Louisbourg and hiked the lighthouse trail. Alone. I walked and thought and walked some more. It felt like church, like a place I could go to bring my thoughts and worries to God. But it was outside – which is where I itch to be, all the time. I really hate being inside most of the time, to tell you the truth. I do it, because that’s life and that’s how things go. But if I can have a window open, I will. I need that air, I need to feel the open sky above me.


When I did that hike last week, it felt so damn good that I pondered making it a personal tradition on Sundays to go hiking alone somewhere. My kind of church, like. I thought about how often through the fall I might be able to do this, and how often schoolwork or family commitments or other things might get in the way. And as half of a couple, I was a bit fearful of taking a dedicated time that is just for me. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a woman – maybe men don’t feel the same way – but I feel that as women anyway, we’re taught to make personal sacrifices for the “good of the couple”. I wondered if my boyfriend would get annoyed with me for saying NO even to him and his needs, and going off on my own. I don’t like conflict and I wasn’t sure if I’d value this alone-in-nature-time enough to fight for it.

IMG_8578 IMG_8586 IMG_8590 IMG_8593 IMG_8600 But then, this Sunday, I was in Baddeck for a board meeting (of the Bras d’Or Stewardship Society – my one remaining steady volunteer commitment). Afterwards I was going to have dinner with my mom. In between the two, it was a beautiful day so I decided to go out to Uisge Ban Falls and walk.

And it felt so darn good, again. Just like the Sunday before, I was by myself and got to ‘decompress’. Do mental stretches, breathe deep, relax. Be surrounded by nothing but the glorious nature, the beautiful spirit.

And as it turns out, I don’t think Adam really cares what I get up to, as long as he gets to watch football on Sundays!

So there is a good chance this will continue into a tradition, for me, going out for some solo nature time on Sundays. Any suggestions on good spots to go?

This entry was posted in Active living, Environment, Leah's thoughts, Outdoors, Religion and Faith and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to sacred sundays: uisge ban falls

  1. Heather MacRae says:

    This is beautiful Leah! Thank you!

  2. Freya Forbell says:

    Such a privilege to watch a young person grow by such leaps and bounds, both artistically and spiritually.

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