Then God said, “Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—everything that has life.” And that is what happened. Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!Genesis 1: 29-31
The story goes like this:
Every Sunday, a hard working farmer told the preacher about all the beauty and the growth and yield of his farm. He worked more than 12 hours a day, and the place was pristine. One day he invited the preacher for a meal and look around.
“Thank you, Lord, for the beauty of your good creation, and for the gift of this bounteous meal,” the preacher prayed at dinner, “your handiwork is evident all around us.”
The farmer, who worked so hard and long, responded: “Well you should have seen how God left the place before I got a hold of it.”
Wednesday, desperately overdue for some bona fide “retirement” activity, Rebekah and I headed over to Duke Gardens for a delightful wander and picnic. We hoped we would see some beautiful spring flowers, and we were not disappointed. But what we didn’t realize was that – serendipitously – we would hit the absolute peak of spectacular color from the tulip terraces.
The experience was exactly what I needed any way I look at it. Time with Rebekah – check! Time away from other pressing concerns – check! Amazing North Carolina scenery – check! Restoration and inspiration from the beauty of nature – check!
The Sarah P. Duke Gardens was laid out by legendary American landscape design pioneer Ellen Biddle Shipman in the 1930’s. It is one of the last surviving examples or Shipman’s work.
Rebekah and I have decided, once we have a little more freedom of movement, to try and visit every month throughout the year. With over five miles of walkways and 55 varied acres, it should be interesting to see the seasons unfold.
Here are a few photographs that I am sure you will enjoy. I have arranged them essentially in the order they were taken, as we walked around in the glorious North Carolina spring sunshine.
Peace – and more peace – DEREK