An Empty New Year’s Day in Bogota.

A few months ago, a monk said to me, “It’s easy to be thankful for our friends, family, good health, and positive experiences, but it’s much more difficult to be thankful for challenging situations, difficult people, and other difficult experiences. Now you’re probably wondering: why should we be thankful for these things? Well, sometimes, difficult experiences and people who make us angry or sad can show us where we might need more wisdom.”

Trees are sanctuaries.

From one forest sanctuary to another.

After my silent meditation retreat in the woods last week, I decided to ease my transition back into this noisy-cluttered-messy world (that I love nonetheless) with a short trip to D.C. for some quiet museum exploration. One place that I’ve always inexplicably overlooked during my D.C. museum days is the United States Botanic Garden, the nation’s oldest continually operating botanic garden. Now, it just might be my favorite space in D.C. (what can I say? I love being in environments that are conducive to getting the Jurassic Park theme song stuck in my head.)