Feb 4 2010

Special and Accessible Places of Peace

Garden Fall 08-1Over the years, I have discovered many special places in nature for peace and restful meditation. By special places, I am not talking about the bold locations like Yellowstone where Chuck is now. Those are definitely special places, but not very accessible for most of us.

When Jesus was troubled in the last hours before he was arrested before the crucifixion, he went to a very accessible place of natural things, the Garden of Gethsemane, to pray and have some time alone. It is interesting and informative that he did not go inside a building, did not go to a temple, did not go to a home, but went outside to a garden. This was a time of considerable stress for Jesus, and while his prayer is very important, I think his location is, too.

None of us feel the pressure that Christ did that night, but still, we have our own pressures to deal with. Nature is, for me, a great place to connect with life and with God, and therefore, to help me with that pressure. On 9/11 when all of those terrible visions were seen on television and the awful things of that attack became known, I went off into a local nature center’s preserve and photographed flowers. In all of that turmoil of death and destruction from the attack on the World Trade Centers, for me, becoming intimately involved with those flowers through my camera connected and grounded me to life. It has been said that a flower is the ultimate expression of hope for the future since a flower only exists to create seeds for future plants.

I have planted much of our yard into native flowers, shrubs and trees. They bloom all year round here in Southern California. Whenever I am stressed with my work as an independent author/photographer, I go out into that garden and take some pictures. There are also other places that are not far that I can go to and be at peace with nature and God. Finally, I also find my and others photography helps me reconnect with nature and helps me be at peace, too.

The flower here is a monkey flower from my garden. It blooms in winter to early spring and is a common plant in the chaparral ecosystem of Southern California.

— Rob