It has been such a tragic week for Americans that it's been hard for me to know what to write or even whether to write. So many people suffered unimaginable losses; my heart aches for them.
When my soul is troubled, I seek out things and places that will bring calm and comfort, things that will quiet my mind. Gardens are wonderful for that. If I can't visit them in person, I can do it through pictures.
Avery Island in south Louisiana is just such a place. It's the home of the McIlhenny Tabasco company and of a 170 acre garden and sanctuary with live oaks, azaleas, camellias, iris, and exotic plants from all over the world. My husband took me there in 2003. I took dozens of pictures with my first digital camera which wasn't much compared to what I use today.
In 1936, friends of Mr. Ned McIlhenny, the creator of garden, discovered a 900 year old statue of Buddha forgotten and unclaimed in a New York warehouse and had it sent to him as a surprise gift. Sitting serenely inside a modest glass enclosed temple on a small hill overlooking a long pool, it now serves as a centerpiece to the garden. The little temple came to mind this week, an oasis of peace in a troubled world.
Our thoughts are powerful. The Bible (Proverbs 3:27) and Buddha both teach that we become what we think. Turning our thoughts toward peace brings it into our lives. That is my wish for myself and all of you in the coming year, to think kind and peaceful thoughts and help make the world a better place.
© 2012 Vicki DeGruy, all rights reserved.
For more information about Jungle Gardens on Avery Island, visit http://junglegardens.org/ and http://www.tabasco.com/avery-island/jungle-gardens/