God in a Garden

A moment. Just a short interval as I struggle with an intermittent depressive state. Growing and expanding our selves is often confusing and exhausting but a necessary task.

I have been dealing with a son off to the army, my other son going through life challenges that I can’t help him with and a I’m in a series of career changes with the constant attention demanded by a dog named Ranger.

I have had that feeling of being out-of-pocket, the in-between state of creativity but more profound. It’s an awkward state of not knowing what your purpose is as daily tasks seem pointless and distracting.

A feeling of change that is so intense you can see its process unfold much like autumn leaves falling in a storm, giving in to winter. Unfortunately for me, I’m not sure what season I’m in.

Today I deliberately took a moment in the overgrown paradise I call a yard, it’s chaos really but the birds love it.  Even the dog enjoyed a moment of taking in the sunlight, I can’t say the answers came to me but I did feel a peace and a presence I’ve been craving.

It’s Easter, I long for those days of family gatherings and dressing appropriately for church, the afternoons in the yard under the shade of giant willows taking orders for the daily barbecue.

Today, I sit alone, staring up into the sky from beneath a fallen Hackberry tree. Where the giant gnarled limbs once shaded the yard, now the sun stares incessantly.

I close my eyes and feel the warmth and am immersed in a scarlet haze. I start praying, enjoying the silence, even the dog sits and chews on a stick.

In the first few moments, all the tasks come to mind, all the words I intend to write about the process, all the projects I’ve put off, all the chaos that looms impossible around me.

I feel helplessness as time ticks by and a Sunday morning seems to be wasting. I have to fight the feeling and with some practice I begin to hear the birds.

First the most brash, the blue jays screeching and the mockingbird’s extensive repertoire and than the breeze as it blows through the leaves. A presence slowly takes me to a state of calm.

I feel the presence of God, so often he is an afterthought but for that moment he is present, listening, a calming force. There has only been a few times in my life that I can remember that complete surrender to him, I know it’s me, not him.

I listen as the morning doves begin their morning coos and the distant warbler sings. Suddenly where there was chaos and unrest, there is peace and calm.

The night before I remember the moon in the same state, shining down through cool blue leaves creating an enchanted moment in the garden, the smell of honeysuckle and night blooming jasmine. The sky a rich blue, soothing and healing, I missed it, I watched it for a moment and went on to the business of the evening.

Today, I stopped and listened. God is always present; he whispers to us in the cool breeze and warms us with the light of the sun. It is our rushed lifestyles, our endless search for our own purpose and intention that often clouds the simplicity of what he seeks for us.

If we only see chaos and disorder, we never truly see beyond our lives and feel his presence. I came away not with answers, not even a fix to my current state, instead a bit of peace, just a calm that insists, it will be okay.

Maybe not this moment or the next but if we wait long enough and be patient God will answer our needs, even if it is just a moment in a garden, the cool spring breeze, the warmth of the sun.


What do you think?


Written by stevelinebaugh

Oil painter and pastel artist, writer, photographer, graphic designer,
originally from New Jersey

Years Of MembershipStory MakerContent Author


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  1. Nicely written, I could feel the peace coming to you, that you felt.

    How does peace relate to listening?

    When we listen for peace, we will not find it, but when we listen for nothing, we find peace.

    It is the noise of our listening that disturbs our peace, because we want answers from our listening, whereas in peace, there is no answer given, but every answer is felt.

  2. What a beautiful thought process you have shared with us. I often do not feel God’s presence. feel as one in nature as you know. Beautiful photos and so glad you are surrounded with nature. It often takes me to another level and helps me get through life. Take care and stay in touch Steve.


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