Growing Spiritually: Finding God Around Us
by Darlene Gidley
Feeling like you need to “recharge your batteries”, but a vacation, is simply out of the question—too much time, too much money, too much Covid, etc. Instead, how about treating yourself to a one or two-hour retreat to clear your mind, lift your spirits, and connect with the spirit of holiness that surrounds you.
With a little imagination–and regardless of where you live– find your perfect place to set your mind and soul free. I recently did just that by driving up to Hilltop Park in Signal Hill. Although the drive took less than 15 minutes, I experienced a transition from the hustle and bustle of city streets, traffic, noise, and people in all states of mental and physical health to the serenity and calmness of the park.
Hilltop Park overlooks the City of Long Beach. From this vantage point you can see the city, downtown Los Angeles, and a wide swath of the Pacific Ocean and inner harbor. You can allow your imagination to wander—where did the ships in the harbor come from, where are they going?
Hilltop Park was very windy upon my arrival. The wind was clean, cool, and refreshing. I felt like the spirit of God was around me, encouraging me to breathe this fresh, windy spirit. I looked around me at this open, green, uncluttered space and appreciated that our forefathers had the wisdom and vision to create this oasis for all of us to appreciate.
Within the garden is a nice path focusing your attention forward to a sculpture and to the ocean beyond. The inscription on the pathway says it all:
Here on this hill, what perspective to see
Our world, ourselves with clarity
We come to this place
gets too fast
To reflect on time
Make a sunset last
Consider what has come to pass
I left the park refreshed and renewed having felt the holy spirit present in my life.