Christmas in Callaway Gardens
Man was created in a garden where he walked and talked with his Creator in the midst of nature. He made a few mistakes and needed help reconnecting with his Father. So, thousands of years later a baby was born outdoors, in a manger in the midst of nature. During a recent business trip with my hubby to Callaway Gardens, I was able to experience their Fantasy in Lights Christmas display. It was quite festive to spend a few days of Christmas at Callaway Gardens, in the midst of nature.
The Lodge is owned and operated by Marriott and sits amidst 6,500 acres of exquisite gardens.
No Room at the Inn?
The winding road from the entrance leads to an “Autograph Collection” luxury resort and spa. Not quite an inn without any rooms…
Wise Men Visit Small Towns
Blooming close by is Pine Mountain, GA, a quaint little town with lots of antique shops and other merchants that keep a tourist busy while visiting the gardens. I imagine wise men have walked these streets and maybe even a wise woman or two.
Stairway to Heaven
This library ladder was a permanent fixture in the Cat’s Meow, but if I’d had a truck, it may have somehow made it home to my living room. It may not lead upward to rows of books anymore, but the placement reminded me of a certain stairway to heaven. Just like the stable, I don’t imagine that pathway to be glamorous, I imagine it to be very simple.
The Emporium was such a lovely southern store, with lots of references to our culture and heritage sitting around.
Awake, O north wind,
And come, wind of the south;
Make my garden breathe out fragrance,
Let its spices be wafted abroad. ~ Song of Solomon 4:16
Let this be a lesson on the days we seem to just “play” with a typewriter.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. ~ Psalm 19:14
And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. ~ Matthew 25:32
After dinner, we climbed aboard a trolley and headed out to see over 8 million lights spread out over 15 different Christmas scenes. Our trolley was guided by an imaginary horse named Snowflake while we enjoyed hot chocolate and sang Christmas carols. As we rode through several fantasy lands in Pine Mountain, Georgia, the cool night air wafted in the Christmas spirit.
As we drove through the grounds, only seeing lights and trees, it occurred to me that I was not only “in the dark” during this fantasy tour, but I was also in the dark in relation to what this garden is all about.
In 1930, a man by the name of Cason Callaway was walking a trail and picked a flower to take to his wife. His wife, Virginia, just happened to be a horticulturalist and figured out that the flower was one of the few remaining azaleas of the time. Flowers can become extinct, just like animals and it seemed this one was on the endangered list. Not only did they save it from extinction, they began to cultivate, plant and spread the species throughout their property, resulting in more than 3,000 native azaleas living along this hillside.
God cultivated mankind in Eden who would care for the gardens of this earth and Cason Callaway certainly did his part. How fitting to celebrate Christmas in a garden. I only wish they’d had a nativity scene in their light display, but then again, this was one story that wouldn’t have fit into their theme. It was not a fantasy.