Have you ever been to a place that felt like that? An outdoor place that feels special somehow, like God is near?
I’ve been to the Sacred Grove, and I was expecting it to feel like that. But it didn’t. It’s a nice, pretty wooded area, and I was there on a beautiful day. But it didn’t feel special to me.
The Sacred Grove, Palmyra, NY
Maybe part of that was because I was there with my non-member parents and uncle, I don’t know. Maybe if I’d been alone I would’ve felt something more. But what struck me the most was how ordinary it was. I came away with the realization that the earth is God’s creation, and there isn’t some special place where He might appear.
It’s all ordinary, and it’s all special.
Yet there are places where I feel closer to God. Places that make me marvel and give me a sense of eternity, and my place in it.
One of those places is Red Rock and the Valley of Fire, near Vegas, which I’ve already posted about here.
Another such place is in Sequim, WA, on the Olympic Peninsula, called the Dungeness Spit. It’s a sand bar that extends out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. There’s a hiking trail that takes you down to it through a forest of amazing trees.
My daughter hiking to the Dungeness Spit
Walking through those trees, I think about how long they’ve been there. I think about the people who may have lived in that area hundreds of years ago. I’m very aware that a few miles to the south are the majestic Olympic Mountains that shelter the area I’m walking in from rain. And a few hundred yards to the north is the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which leads to the Pacific Ocean. This little strip of land between towering mountains and the sea. And I feel like if I’d had a hand in creating any part of the earth, surely this was it.
Further west there is the stunning Lake Crescent. It’s one of the most gorgeous places on earth. And so serene. It’s places like this that make you reflect and really appreciate everything you have in life.
Crescent Lake, WA
When I moved to southern California I didn’t know what to expect. I really wasn’t expecting to find a spot that moved me like the Dungeness Spit and Lake Crescent do. But I did.
The Bolsa Chica Wetlands are right on the Pacific Coast Highway. There’s lots of traffic and lots of people (and sadly, often lots of garbage). Even so, it’s a peaceful, serene spot.
Bolsa Chica Wetlands, Huntington Beach, CA
What places move you?