Tag Archives: National Park

The Three C’s

Creation, creatures and creativity. The three C’s.  Since visiting the National Arboretum on Sunday, I can’t stop thinking about creation, creatures, and creativity.

The grace of creation is not hard to recognize – there is the profound beauty of the landscape, the blossoming flowers, the painted colors of plants and trees, rocks, lakes, rivers and hills.

The grace in creatures is sometimes more difficult for us to name, for we are the creatures.  Yet, we are graced and we are beautiful!  We are the creations of the Divine who made us as beautiful creatures – perhaps more beautiful than any landscape we can view, if we but knew how to see our own beauty.  It took some great creativity on God’s part in creating us.  And, the amazing thing is, since we are created in God’s image and likeness, we also have some of that same sense of creativity and ability to create.

So when the creature looks at creation and puts their creativity to task – beautiful things can happen.  The Arboretum was full of them.  We saw bonsai trees over 400 years old and Ikebana flower arrangements that took a piece of this and a piece of that to create striking beauty with a combination of single parts.

We must not forget that we also have the ability to create.  Creation, creatures and creativity is a powerful combination.  Let’s use it to show grace to our world.

A Moment in Time

Capturing a moment in time is sometimes an impossibility. But I tried to do just that this morning – me and 10,000 other people!  We had all converged on the National Mall to try and capture a look – a moment – a memory – of the Space Shuttle Discovery as it made its last flight to its place of retirement at the National Air and Space Museum.

The excitement on the Mall was palpable.  People were even talking to one another!  We waited and watched.  Watched and waited.  We exchanged stories and shared how we were setting our cameras and what lenses we were using.

And then she flew by — piggy-backed on a NASA 747.  I wanted to experience the moment, but I also wanted a picture – to capture forever this moment in history.  I took out my camera and began to focus, but it seemed like everything was moving so fast.  People were moving in front of me to jockey for a better position, and the wind was blowing the clouds at a fierce rate, not to mention the plane itself was racing by at several hundred miles an hour.

It made me think that sometimes we just need to freeze-frame the moment to be able to enjoy it.  Take everything in.  Savor the feeling, the excitement, the movement of the crowds and clouds, and if you must (as I must!) take a picture so we can go back and re-remember.  It’s all graced.






Friendship is a blessed thing – offering many graced moments.  Having moved many times throughout my growing up, long lasting friendships were not something I knew much about.  Just as I would make a friend, we would move and leave the new friend behind.  There was always the opportunity to make a new friend wherever we moved.  And, I did that, only to leave them behind at the end of our time in that location.  So, friendship that lasted years was not something I knew much about.  I had many friends, but only for short periods of time.

Then I settled and began to raise a family and lived in the same location for over 30 years.  The true friends over the years were the ones with whom I could talk, laugh, cry, explore new hobbies, attend classes, or just share the quiet moments of our life stories.  These friends were “comfort stations” on life’s journey, easy to be with and always fun.

Recently, after moving from that house of almost 30 years, a friend came to visit us in our new surroundings.  It was a graced moment – a graced week.  We talked and laughed and visited the sites.  We walked the National Mall and toured the Native American and Natural History Smithsonian Museums.  We went out to the countryside to view the wonder of the changing colors of the landscape through the Shenandoah National Park along the Skyline Drive.  The beauty was magnificent and the sun through the colors of the trees was something only God could paint.  Our friendship was renewed and strengthened.  Many graced moments, indeed.

Our friendship with God can offer us the same delights.  For no matter where we live, where we have moved or what we are doing, God always desires to be friends with us.  It was St. Theresa of Avila who said if we know how to talk to a beloved friend, we know how to talk to God in prayer.  God’s friendship is waiting.  Wherever we are, whatever we are doing, we can talk to God in prayer.  It is a friendship like no other.