Thursday, May 3, 2012
Viewing Creation With A Thankful Spirit
This past weekend my wife, daughter and I enjoyed a visit to the San Antonio Botanical Garden . Above this article you will see a few of the pictures from our visit. As usual we all had our cameras with us. We left early as the Texas heat is already making its presence felt. With the grounds map in hand we leisurely strolled through the garden.
Being in an environment where creation in all it’s beauty is pointing to the Creator behind it all is personally inspiring. It inspired a thankful spirit. You can enjoy a picture or painting of creation but seeing it live is always more moving of an experience. In art museums I tend to spend more time savoring nature works of art but they don’t come close to seeing what the Master Artist/Creator does in nature. There was such a variety to see and experience, from the rose garden, the Piney Woods area with a pond, the Hill Country wild flower area, and the Japanese garden.
My wife had some questions answered by the grounds keepers. The workers were very polite and were knowledgeable about the plants they tended. The one man we spoke with truly enjoyed his work at the Garden. My favorite area was the Japanese garden. They had gorgeous Japanese red maples and the shrubbery was neatly trimmed. In the Japanese garden area we took a rest from our walking. It was a quiet spot to simply, silently rest and mindfully soak in the colors around us.
Back to the thankful spirit that being in such a place brings to mind. As I savored our time there I first of all was thankful to the Creator God who has given us such beauty and variety in nature. What is there were no flowers and just one type of grass and only two types of trees everywhere on the earth? Can anyone say boring? As we went through the SA Botanical Garden in trees alone there was a vast variety. Then add the variety in bushes, flowers and rock formations. I was thankful for that.
Then being with family for an experience such as this reminds me to be thankful for my wife and daughter as I watched them enjoying the nature around them as well. I was thankful for a visitor from out of state who we talked to in the Japanese garden. Earlier she had overheard my wife wondering the name of a plant. Since we were sitting in the same area she took the time to share that it was an agave plant. I was also thankful for the dedicated workers who tended to the garden to keep it in such delightful condition.
I could have just rushed through the garden just to say I had been there, but by mindfully taking our time I fully enjoyed the total experience. From the most delicate flowers in the green house; to the cactus garden; to watching the turtles sunning themselves on a log in the pond, there was so much to be thankful for. When you go to a park, garden, zoo, or aquarium go into the experience with a sense of a thankful spirit and you will discover a deep restful enjoyment.
Reflection: Take a morning or afternoon to visit a local park or botanical garden. Go into the time with a spirit of finding things to be thankful for. Later, journal how you felt during the time and how you felt afterwards. Did it increase your happiness level?