When I think of beautiful places I most often think of places in nature. I think of our family’s picnic spot in the mountains over Santa Fe, New Mexico. I think of the water fall we often went to on our preparation day on my mission. I think of sunsets and mountain ranges. There is something about nature that draws our thoughts upward.
I love to garden. A well kept garden is certainly a beautiful place. Both of my grandpas were gardeners. Being a gardener is part of my family heritage. I spent two semesters working in the horticultural garden during college and loved being out there every day with the plants. And every year I try to grow some type of food item in whatever garden I can put together because there is nothing better than eating food you grew yourself.
Being a gardener is also part of my divine nature as a daughter of God. The whole Earth is God’s garden. And it is beautiful. I remember one conversation we had while working in the horticultural garden (my co-workers were agricultural majors, I learned a lot at that job) about which system of irrigation is best – surface or drip. We decided they both had their place as God uses both in His garden.
When I think of the most important events in human history, I am struck at how many of them occurred in gardens. The Garden of Eden was the location where the creation was completed and where Adam and Eve used their agency to choose progression for all of humanity. The Garden of Gethsemane witnessed the atonement and the Garden Tomb the miraculous resurrection. The Sacred Grove was the location of the start of the restoration. There are many things we can learn from these sacred gardens (see “Stand in the Sacred Grove” by Elder Marlin K. Jensen).
There are our own personal sacred gardens as well, like the mountain side where Brett and I agreed to be a family or even the garden in our backyard where we work with God to enjoy his creations and a few juicy tomatoes. I find great peace when I am in a garden, be it formal or otherwise.
Where are your sacred gardens? How does nature inspire you?