I recently bought a Nikon camera, 24 X wide angle optical zoom to capture the many aspects of life. Of course that would include God's wonderful creation . . . the mountains, the vistas, the marvelous landscaping and flowers of the desert . . . all magnificent visions for a amateur photographer.
One place that grabbed my attention was the Cancer Survivor Park in Rancho Mirage. Here's this little park, a gift from Richard and Annette Bloch, that sits on the side of Hwy 111, next to City Hall. I'd driven by it many times and now impassioned by my new camera, I thought I should explore it. What I found centered in it was an amazing little pond with water lilies. It was beautiful, the water lily buds peeking through the pads. . . the leaves floating in artistic delight. Oh would Claude Monet have loved this pond, I thought. . . I was mesmerized by it. When will these buds open I thought? Excited and anticipating what they would look like opened, my pondering would not end . . . I took over 300 shots that day, I left longing to know more about the park and especially these water lilies.
That afternoon I was on my computer for hours looking at my photos . . . beautiful pictures, but no open lilies in them, just buds and pads. I Goggled for more information and found out that there are various varieties of water lilies. Some open up at night and close in the day, others open up in morning light and close at dusk. That information grabbed me even more. So I called Rancho Mirage City Hall and spoke with the gentleman in charge of the park. He didn't know anything special about the water lilies. Hanging up the phone, I was on a mission, I wanted to photograph the water lilies when they were opened. The next day I went to the pond at midday, no open water lilies. A couple days later I went in late afternoon, no open water lilies. According to what I had read, the time of the month was perfect for full bloom, surely then they must open at night. So my husband and I drove to the pond that night and with a flashlights and we sifted through the dark to see if the lilies were open. . . still no open lilies. A few days later I told my friend about my pursuit. The following day she stopped by the park as the sun was coming up . . . they were open! She called me on her cell phone and I rushed over and spent the morning shooting photos of the water lilies.
Life for me is really about my journey to God. It's includes celebrating, pondering, pursuing and capturing the beauty that surround me. I am always left with overwhelming gratitude for the gift of each experience. To those who have never thought about the beauty of a water lily pond, I recommend this amazing little park. It has a statue of woman sitting beside it as if she were pondering it's beauty and reminding us to experience the gift of all that surrounds us.
(Richard and Annette Bloch Cancers Survivors Park is located adjacent to City Hall at Frank Sinatra and Highway 111. Featuring a pyramid kiosk, tiled benches, ponds, a hillside waterfall, and sculpture, the park is designed to give hope to those with cancer. This park was constructed by the Bloch Foundation as a gift to the community, and an endowment fund helps offset maintenance expenses.)