While in the Palm Springs area, we stayed with a wonderful lady that Kirby knows from work. We spent about 36 hours enjoying her hospitality and spending time with her and in her town. She took us to breakfast at this lovely restaurant on Saturday morning (not too early -- plenty of time for a mountain-view, outdoor (without layers of clothing), 7+ mile run to build up a good appetite!). There was outdoor seating in a fabulous setting (any good Minnesotan who has the chance to eat breakfast outside in the month of March in a place where the sun is shining and the food doesn't instantly freeze, better take the opportunity whenever they can!). We ate our delicious breakfast, looked around in the gift shop attached to the restaurant, which is mainly based around dates -- of all things -- since the restaurant is located in the middle of a date farm. I got quite the education on dates. SO very interesting! (really!). We noticed, while enjoying our breakfast, that there was a large fenced in area, labeled as "The Walk", behind the outside dining area. Nancy said she didn't know too much about it, as she'd never been back there. She didn't want to go after breakfast, because she had not brought along her sun hat. But we were intrigued.
We had a little down time in the afternoon and decided to go back and check it out.
I should really back up a bit . . . I was asked a few weeks ago to be a part of a collaboration surrounding Holy Week. Visual artists and authors from our area were asked to be a part of a "Stations of the Cross" exhibit to go along with our church's annual art show that we host each spring. I was honored (with a HUGE dose of intimidated and filled with anxiety!) to have been asked to be one of the visual artists! Yikes! I was collaborating on a significant, deeply meaningful project with some SERIOUSLY talented (and did I mentional, professional?) artists that I have major respect for and in whose artistic company I would never put myself in a million years! Yikes! (did I say that already?)
Anyway, I got the feeling this "Walk" was along the same lines as the stations of the cross and was hoping I might find a little inspiration for my part in the project (my piece is due at the end of this month. That's just over a week from now . . . cue mild -- or not so mild! -- panic!) It was, in it's most basic description, a visual walk through the life of Jesus. There were 15 stops along the way, each containing a sculpture and a verse of Scripture. Each "station" had a beautiful, meaningful natural backdrop that mirrored the life event in the life of Jesus. There was also a brochure that they gave you when you entered that showed a photo of each sculpture with a longer passage of scripture to go with each, as well as a commentary on the scene.
It was such a meaningful experience and I'm so thankful we had (and took) the time to do it. I am thankful that the Lord lead me to this experience to help me gain confidence (a little, anyway) for this lofty project I have been asked to do. If Nancy had suggested a different place for breakfast, I never would have had this particular experience (woudn't have even known it existed). If I hadn't had the blessing (HUGE blessing) of tagging along on this trip with Kirby, I never would have had this particular experience. If we would have not had some down time in our day while we were there, I never would have had this particular experience. I love how everything worked together to give me the opportunity for this extra insight and chance to be freshly reminded, in a new way, of the life and death of Christ. That's so like God to bring all those circumstances together! I am thankful.
Check out the website (linked above) and if you are ever in the Palms Springs area of California, check it out in person. You will be glad that you did! Also, if you're local to the Twin Cities, come check out our church's art show and Stations of the Cross exhibit this April.(and don't be too critical a certain, timid "artist" that will try her best to represent visually, in a meaningful way, what her Lord and Savior went through in the Garden of Gethsemane.)
Now I'm off to enjoy the last couple days of vacation! I think I will read a book while enjoying the poolside sunshine! (My apologies if you are somewhere where it is cold and snowy today . . . I feel your pain. Just not actually right at this very moment!)
On a related note, I could never, ever live in the Palm Springs area, where we spent the first two days of our trip (my trip anyway, Kirb spent a few days working in Phoenix before I arrived). I thoroughly enjoyed it and am so thankful for my time there. Truth is, although I find the mountains glorious, full of spendor and beauty, they kind of freak me out. (Maybe more than 'kind of'). If I did a 360 degree circle and looked toward the horizon, I could probably have seen mountians on the horizon (and often pretty much RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME) about 300 of those 360 degrees. I don't know about you, but that makes me feel a bit panicy and claustrophobic. I felt a bit trapped. "What if we needed to leave?" I asked Kirb. "That doesn't make you feel panicky that we're surrounded by mountians on pretty much every side?" He assured me it didn't and we shouldn't have to flee quickly in the next 48 hours and I should just enjoy the beauty. Easy for him to say! Mr. Matthew-6-who-never-ever-worries-about-anything! Therein lies the beauty of marriage. It's my job to worry and it's his job to not. At all. Ever. (I'm not even kidding about this one.). Man, do I love that guy!