“A garden is where God first placed man and where man feels most at peace and at home.”c e hollis
One of my favorite places to visit is the Myriad Gardens conservatory in Oklahoma city. It is a tropical jungle three stories tall glass cylinder-shaped building full of trees, plants, and waterfalls. Pathways lead to misty places where flowers peep out from plants, vines twist and tumble, and trees produce wonders like cocoa beans, star fruit, macadamia nuts, dates, coconuts, and mangos. Birds fly free in the space, lizards soak up heat on rocks and “garden people” find amazement and a spot to cool off by streams and waterfalls. Right there in the center of a huge city—is a piece a jungle.
I would love to visit at night once to hear how the sounds change, to see which flowers bloom when darkness falls, and which close up. I would like to feel the darkness, the cooling effect of the sun’s departure from the curved panes of glass, see which creatures come out and which stay hidden away. I remember the song that was sung by Louis Armstrong which speaks of the dark sacred night, “And I think to myself––What a wonderful world.”
I could stay all day and walk the overhead bridge through the tops of the palm trees and see the flowers and fruits there. I could climb the rock stairs and paths to see the desert plants and explore the hot regions. I could walk in the outer gardens and watch koi and ducks swim. I could spend all day looking at the orchids and tropical flowers not normally seen in my part of the planet.
The shapes and colors are awesome and strike my eye and pull on my soul. They are like food to the hungry spot inside of me. They fill me up with sounds, textures, scents, and sights I would otherwise not experience. It is a great blessing to have gardens to visit because these spaces bring us closer to ourselves and closer to our maker. They show us bits of creation that we might miss at home in the same surrounds everyday. They enlighten our spirits. They show us the masterful creative genius of God our Father.
“And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. ”Genesis 2: 8–9