a quiet spot.

while on our trip to southern california, we spent one evening hiking in the hills up behind laguna beach. our cousin has a quiet spot up there, and we wanted to see it —

the great thing about being a guest, is that you get to discover the beauty of other places and fall in love with the culture and people who live there. laguna beach is a sun-kissed town filled with people who glamorously accessorize the sandy beaches. the hills are a quiet refuge with beautiful views of what lies below.

one particular hill has a special spot on top – a shrine honoring nature, filled with painted rocks, and other little souvenirs from life. our cousin created this place about ten years ago, soon after 9/11. she has been adding to it ever since. cool, right? there are rocks she has painted from all over the world, all representing different moments from her life. different challenges.  different goals, etc. her family, friends, and acquaintances have added rocks too. strangers who hike to this spot have added their own offerings to this place. when our cousin isn’t traveling the world, she will hike/run to this spot on a regular basis and is able to observe the new offerings/mementos of life that people bring up there.

the only rule – she doesn’t allow any religious items or money on the shrine. once, soon after the shrine was started it was vandalized. she had to gather all the rocks where they had been scattered, and then created a little border/fence to keep them in. she then wrote a kind request for everyone to respect the offerings. it’s worked so far.

it makes me wonder what people think when they stumble upon this spot out in nature without having any idea it’s there. if they just pass by without a care, or if their curiosity stops them to spend some time checking it out…

myla and i loved it. this special spot inspired myla to find some flat beach rocks during our trip. we brought them home and are going to paint them. we will either take them back to laguna beach one day and they will be added to this shrine, or we are going to create our own special place here in boston that would be our shrine, within walking distance. it’s a little bit harder to figure out a place like this in an urban setting, sans big hills, but we’re trying to come up with something good!

do you have a place like this?   somewhere to retreat when you need to step outside of the wordily chaos for a bit.  if you were to paint a rock – what would it be?  what would you honor, or represent, or decide to acknowledge in your life?  i relate to so many that are already in the pictures above – start again, balance, yoga, patience.

there are hidden, quiet spots all-over the world, and the challenge lies in finding them. i hope we all get a little time this summer to do so. xo.

{images by me. jane rhodes}

7 responses to “a quiet spot.

  1. I love this idea. It makes me feel that we are not so different, that we can all coexist and agree on at least some things (can you tell that I do NOT like politics and all the negativity it generates???). I love the idea of a spot like this that brings people together. Still thinking about my rock statement would be. Thank you for the inspirational post!

  2. I really like your cousin! This is really cool! I would love to stumble across something so great on a hike! Thanks for sharing this!

  3. I read your cousins book and loved it! She’s a fascinating person. Thanks for posting her on your blog awhile back!

  4. You have wonderful ideas and I love your perspective. Thanks for sharing this from your cousin. I am going to do this with my two boys–it should be a great way for them to express themselves. Keep the great ideas coming!

  5. Im in Laguna Beach now and would love to leave a rock here. Can you tell me where this hike and shrine is? Thank you!

  6. The nature shrine is gone. Someone took everything and destroyed it– all the rocks, even the wood square around it. It was my favorite place and now it’s gone… I can’t believe someone would do something like this. Makes me so angry.

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