Sunday, January 12, 2014

Garden walks

Little Strider at Kingwood Gardens in Ohio
While visiting the botanical gardens in Columbia recently, I started thinking about how we've taken our kids to various gardens many times in the last decade.

Now on this drizzly January afternoon, I decided it was a good day to give myself a good "garden walk" by finding the pictures we've taken over the years.  As I added it up, I realized we've been to at least 8 different formal gardens (in 3 different countries), for a total of at least 16 visits!

I'm not sure why we always seek out the gardens when we take family trips.... Probably simply because I love gardens and I want my kids to, too.

Gardens for me represent the wonderful intersection of God and His people.  God alone is the creator, but when nature is left untamed by people, the order and beauty are different. When these master gardeners step in and bring patterns and paths and places to ponder, they also bring peace. I think God smiles when He sees what people can do with His flowers and stones and trees and shrubs.

I read once that someone who is deeply grieving can be comforted by surrounding himself with beauty.  Even when not grieving, I think being in gardens still ministers to our souls, healing some of the daily hurts, showing us order in a disorderly world.

So we will probably continue to visit botanical gardens whenever we get the chance... or until the kids refuse to go anymore.  And then Pete and I will go by ourselves.  :)
Here are some of the pictures I found on my photo "garden walk" today:

I agree with Francis Bacon:
"God Almighty first planted a garden.  And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures."

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