Big Treasures in Small places

Georgia, Mt. pictures, March 2013 021 Callaway Gardens Chapel, 16 March 2013Georgia, Mt. pictures, March 2013 019 Georgia, Mt. pictures, March 2013 012 Callaway Garden Chapel stained glass, 16 March 2013 Georgia, Mt. pictures, March 2013 037

From the mountains of Georgia, we drove 5 and half hours to Columbus, Georgia and then onto Callaway Gardens for presentations. At the Rose Cottage Bakery and Restaurant in Pine Mountain, Georgia near Callaway, we met Maria Makin who, with her husband, were world class chefs who served Nelson Mandela at his inaugural and were operating a delightful restaurant with first class food.  He had been executive chef for Four Seasons and Callaway Gardens, but were looking to simplify their lives and do their own thing.  Our conversation was rich and delightful.  Another gem was our opportunity to give a presentation at St. Nicholas Episcopal Church class and then worshipped with them. Father Jeff Jackson, known by his blog, The hiking priest, was a wonderful host. It was delightful to meet with the congregation at Hamilton, Georgia. Along the way, we stopped into the Oink Joint for Southern barbecue. It turned out this was an award winning place. At Columbus we provided a lecture on Muir at the International Student’s Center, then drove onto Callaway Gardens, where the above pictures show the flowers, chapel and grounds. It was a great day for hiking the privately developed gardens that was the dream of a Georgian who wanted to re-claim cut-over lands and provide a lovely setting for family fun to include golf, plantings, zip lines, boating, fishing and a wide variety of learning activities. It was a good turnout and we we delighted with the housing arrangements. All in all it was a beautiful experience.  Theodore Roethke’s phrase, “Love that which is near at hand” came to mind as I reflected on these gems, these big treasures in small places.  We would all do to keep our mind and eye’s open as we make our journey.  I’m grateful for these delights of travel.

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