Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | May 17, 2012

No Bad Vistas

Big Bend National Park

There are no bad vistas at Big Bend National Park, the oldest and largest national park in Texas. No matter which direction you look, the panoramic views are magnificent. It seems that Big Bend was created as a feast for the eyes, a sort of visual buffet of natural wonders. It’s not the kind of place where you get in a hurry to go from Point A to Point B. On the contrary, it’s a place where you don’t mind observing the 45-mile per hour speed limit in the park. The slower pace of driving is perfect because it gives visitors more time to appreciate the grand views sculpted by wind and water over long periods of time. Big Bend is indeed one of the premier canvases in God’s global gallery.

Dad and I drove from Chisos Mountain Lodge toward Santa Elena Canyon today. The scenic and winding drive is not only beautiful, it is relaxing. One of the objectives of my sabbatical is to not get in a hurry to go anywhere or do anything but instead to relax and enjoy a different pace of life. Today’s drive helped me to do just that. We stopped to enjoy a picnic lunch along the way, struck up a conversation with some folks from Michigan, and took a leisurely hike along a portion of the Rio Grande River near the magnificent Santa Elena Canyon. I have enjoyed watching my Dad enjoy the beauty of this place. I have caught him pensively stopping to look at things along the way and nodding his head in affirmation of the surrounding natural wonders. Sharing this experience with him makes it all the more meaningful to me.

Reflecting on the beauty of Big Bend has reminded me that there is beauty everywhere if we will slow down long enough to look for it. It’s so easy for us to allow our frenzied pace of life in the city to blind us to the things and people around us. Our schedules often seclude us from or minimize our interaction with others. That’s not a good thing because so much of the beauty around us is found in the faces of others and in the stories they are waiting to tell. We can miss out on so many good things by going through life faster than 45-miles per hour. It really is difficult to see and even harder to hear folks when we go through life too fast. So, slowing down is not a bad thing. I am thankful for this time away from my normal routine. God is helping more things to come into sharper focus for me as a result. And, that’s a good thing!


  1. Thank you, Omar, for sharing with us, as you and your dad travel together. I’m sure this is a time he’ll never forget, and some day you will be deeply grateful that you took the time to do it. “There is beauty everywhere if we will slow down long enough to look for it.” True, true. As my age is slowing me a bit, I find myself doing naturally what I’m sure God intended for all of us to do all the time. The rewards are great, even in my own back yard. Often, I just sit and soak in the color, the sounds, the sights and scents around me, and realize “it is good!” Blessings!

    • Thanks, Lanni. You are absolutely right in your observation that the rewards of slowing down are indeed great. Thanks for following our journey.

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