Sunday, May 29, 2011

Spring in Central California

Joining with Laura B and Laura B at:
On In Around button
So, we took a road trip last Monday,
one that we take almost every month.
We drive the 101 Highway 120 miles north of here 
to visit the Monastery of the Risen Christ,
down O'Connor Road,
off of Foothill on the way out to Los Osos
through San Luis Obispo.
If you've never traveled to this part of the world,
may I encourage you to consider it?

This drive is perhaps one of the most beautiful I have ever taken - 
and it's in our own backyard.
We've lived in Africa,
we've traveled to multiple gorgeous places in Europe,
we choose to go to Hawaii as often as we can save up
airline miles to make the trip.
But there is something about driving along the central coast,
then turning inland to this rolling countryside,
with its thousands of oak trees,
small farms and large ones,
small towns and mid-sized ones,
that soothes the soul 
and alters 
the brain chemistry.

Whether it's the spreading gold of fall or winter...
...the riot of wildflowers and grasses
of early spring...

...or the deep emerald green of mid-spring...'s a gorgeous place,
and it's a wonderfully relaxing and refreshing drive.
And when we get there?
This welcome greets us:
 This small house of one room awaits me,
 (and this sign means what it says.)
 I took a few pictures this last visit,
just to give you a glimpse of some small
blessings to be found in this peaceful space.
...a floribunda red rose, which stretches over my head -
and I'm 5'10"...
...Abbott David's favorite - a wild profusion of iris...
...a peachy gold rose outside one of the brother's bedroom window...
...some new iris stretching to the light...
...and this dark velvety beauty right outside the door
of the Holy Spirit House.
Even the weeds are at peace in this place, from tiny ones... tall, willowy ones.
This one seemed to radiate the light of the midday
spring sunshine.
Then, if we're traveling at the right time of the year,
on the way home,
we might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse 
of the setting sun,
casting a glow over the tracks for the Coast Surfliner.

And if the calendar is just right,
we might even see the rising moon just ahead,
while the sun sets behind us.

 I am grateful for every single mile of this 
journey and it never gets old.
The God we serve is a God of beauty and
creative imagination - and we are blessed
to live in a place that shouts that truth.