I spent most of today at the botanical gardens, praying, wandering, watching, delighting. Life has been rather hectic lately, and I needed to root myself once again in prayer, in Jesus. How lucky am I that I can spend a day with that as my primary task! The life of a novice, I guess! So, here I will share some pictures, and a few prayerful thoughts.
I was so taken by this tree. It's called a Dragon Tree, because the sap is red, and they believed that it was dragon blood. Weird. The sign also said that the sap was used in the varnish for Stradivarius violins, giving them their characteristically reddish tint.
As I got closer, I saw how it was growing with those trees around it. A tree in community!
Because we've been talking about community and studying how we as a congregation live in community, I found all sorts of meaning in these trees. I sat under them for almost an hour, noticing how they rely on each other for support (notice how crooked they are), how their lives are intertwined, how they're damaged yet healthy.
I am always struck by the proximity of the ocean--and then I'm struck by its enormity. I am so lucky, so blessed to be here. This is the view from the top of the hill at the garden.
It no doubt inspired the sculture..
Unnoticed remains of a Valentine's Day party?
Now, who wouldn't find spiritual meaning in the next picture? Life out of what seems to be lifeless... the circle of creation...beauty in the desert...I was amazed that the buds on the tree were barely visible, yet here was this beautiful bloom. Even in southern California the trees know that this is winter turning to spring.
A last little friend. I stopped because of the shape of the cactus (why are there those little balls and then that snake-like thing??) and then I noticed the lizard. He (lizards are always "he" in my head) was about the size of a quarter.
It was a good day. I got some of my equilibrium back, some of my rootedness in God. I left reminded that I am with the I AM, Yahweh, always, along with all of God's creation.