Remember that old game from elementary and middle school? “I’m going on a picnic, and I’m bringing _____.” One person fills in the blank with a food that begins with the letter A, say apples. The next person adds an item beginning with the letter B, “I’m going on a picnic, and I’m bringing apples and bananas.” The game continues for all 26 letters of the alphabet and the list becomes longer and longer with each person’s turn. If one messes up, she’s out. Sorry, no picnic for you.
Despite playing this game countless times during my early childhood, my friends and I didn’t go on a picnic until this summer in 2013. A small group of four, we figured out what foods and supplies we’d bring and set off in the car to find a nice green field right on our college campus.
We ate our homemade chicken, egg salad, and kabob sandwiches, then gobbled down some sugar cookies and fruit punch under the hot sun. After driving around in circles, we finally found the secret garden on campus (which is no secret at all, but it was the first time we heard of it!).
Walking along the path in the garden, we found giant green lawn chairs, a log cabin surrounded by a stone path engraved with people’s names, evergreen trees that I never realized could look so beautiful, and of course flowers.
The beauty the world has to offer, even if it’s right in our backyards, is a reminder and sign of God. He, as the Qur’anic verse below states, created all there is in the world — trees, flowers, rain, animals, people, and more. It’s up to us to see the beauty in the creation and remember the Creator behind it.
“Nay, He Who created the heavens and the earth, and sent down for you water from the cloud; then We cause to grow thereby beautiful gardens; it is not possible for you that you should make the trees thereof to grow…” [Qur’an 27:60]
Give yourself a treat. Have a picnic and walk in a garden to see the perfect trees and flowers this summer.