September 11, 2009
Am I In A Dream?
" Am I in a dream?" That is what I was wondering in August when I went to visit the Alhambra Generalife in Grenada, Spain. It was so beautiful! Every wall, every corner, every floor, door, and ceiling had detailed engravings and tiles. It was mind boggling!
There is no way anyone could take a bad picture in that place. It is created in such a way that anywhere you look there is something beautiful to capture. The only complaint I had was the incredible heat. I went in August and it was very hot... in the high 90s hot. I was informed by several locals that it is best to visit in the Spring or Fall. I will have to return someday and do that. But beyond the heat I had a wonderful time!
I went alone because the missionaries I had been staying with insisted I must go see the Alhambra for myself. But they themselves could not go with me because of ministry issues that demanded their time. They almost had to push me onto the bus because I wanted to stay and help. But I'm glad now that they insisted I go because the experience left me dazzled.
The Alhambra Generalife even has its own outdoor stage, called the Teatro del Generalife, at the entrance to the magnificent gardens!
There is water everywhere in the form of fountains great and small and man-made lakes and streams. They are found in the palaces, in the courtyards, in the gardens, in the staircases, and even in the hand rails!
Water meant life to the Moorish rulers of Grenada, who were of Muslim descent. The Islamic-styled influence in the architecture of the Alhambra Generalife is a testament to how deeply those Moorish rulers loved their culture and remembered from where they came. Traditionally a people used to the rigors of desert life water was very precious. So you find it everywhere in the Alhambra Generalife and it is showcased many times.
I also noticed that there were many engravings of stars within the palaces. They were on the floors, ceilings, and even bushes in the gardens were kept in this form. Perhaps they reminded the Moorish rulers of the night sky?
There is great peace and tranquility within the walls and courtyards of the Alhambra. It was formerly known as Al-Andalus, an Arabic name used simply to refer to the parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by the Moors.
In this special place of Grenada it is so easy to imagine what the world could be like if all cultures and all people would live in peace and harmony. I do believe that God had wanted all mankind to share their talents and abilities in ways that uplifted and honored. Just imagine for a moment what we as the human race could do if we used our intelligence and abilities for good? No more wars, or weapons of mass destruction, or people starving, or people needing a place to live.
This reality cannot happen in our world right now. But I do believe what the Bible teaches and I do believe in the promises of God. One day Jesus Christ will return and make the world as it was meant to be. There will be peace again and there will be beauty everywhere, justice everywhere, and harmony. May He come soon!