T h e G r o t t o
“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”***Henry David Thoreau***
One of my most favorite places in the world is The Grotto. It is a magical place where spirituality and nature meet in a tranquil atmosphere of well-tended gardens, natural areas and man-made splendor.
“The Grotto strives to provide a welcoming presence and a
beautiful environment conducive to peace, quiet, and spiritual inspiration. The Grotto offers understanding, compassion, support and hope through a variety of ministries including counseling, education, spiritual direction and liturgical celebrations. The Grotto endeavors to serve all people.” ( Grotto website)
Although The Grotto is an internationally renowned Catholic shrine, it provides a spiritual and peaceful retreat for people of all faiths and for those that have none at all. It truly is a hidden gem in the city, just minutes from downtown. To walk these grounds one would be hard-pressed to notice this fact. The Grotto is also a stunning botanical garden filled with fir trees, rhododendrons and other native plants.
The Lower level
The lower level contains 20 acres of natural woodland. There is a solemn peacefulness here. A certain quietness that evokes a sense that you are in quite another world. Here I feel safe and protected by the tall pines, their spicy scent filling my senses; bringing back forgotten childhood memories and putting a spring in my step.
I have walked here often in this wild and untamed section of The Grotto. I admire the way the land is cared for. The way some would say God intended, certainly the way Mother nature intended. Fallen trees overgrown with brush and leaf litter are sure signs of natural land stewardship.
Our Lady’s Grotto
One of the highlights of a trip to the upper gardens includes one of the most spectacular views in town, The cliff side Meditation Chapel is truly something to see. Made of polished granite and glass walls it certainly makes quite an impression.
This beautiful building showcases an amazing view of the Columbia River Valley, the Cascades and Mt. St. Helens. It is no wonder that this building has received both national and international architectural awards.
St. Anne’s Chapel
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual (The Monastery at The Grotto) (picturesinlivingcolor.wordpress.com)
- Grotto Website: http://www.thegrotto)