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God is great!
A Few Frank Words 2-28-24

I am on vacation in my favorite and most sacred spot in the world. I believe everyone has a place on this earth that is, for you, the same. Let me share why and I hope that you will be able to recognize your sacred space as well. If, after reading this you recognize your space, please let me know and I will be happy to share. My email address is:

The “ranch” is nestled in a canyon a little east of Santa Maria. The original house built in the early 19th century, along with the land, was purchased in the 1930s by my wife’s grandfather. I sit on an old-fashioned park bench overlooking the canyon in the early morning and late evening hours. My view of the canyon is almost due east. There are a few homes dotted on the western slope of the Santa Margarita Mountains that begin their majestic rise right across the canyon. That slope is painted with red oak and white oak trees and is pockmarked with grassy areas of about an acre or so. At the base of the canyon is the road that winds from a mesa on the south to a highway on the north and is about 30 miles with numerous switchbacks. A flock or two of wild turkeys say hello in the early hours and goodnight in the evening. A grazing area is just past a barbed wire fence 50 feet away. The morning brings the turkeys up enjoying a hearty breakfast. A few minutes later I saw three deer including a doe and her young. Once in a great while, a two- or three-point buck will grace us with his presence. A variety of birds sing all day. Red tail hawks search for prey all day so that I can watch as they play in the wind of the canyon. Over my many years I have spied a Peregrine Falcon, a Golden Eagle, and a California Condor. There are some very secretive animals including a Black Bear and a mountain lion or two. I tend to be a silent hiker but in these cases I am better off making a lot of noise. You all probably know why.

As I said, I am also an early riser and a night owl. That affords me some magnificent sunrises, sunsets, and moonrises. I continue to take pictures of those with the intent to share with everyone in a book.

I took in all the wonder and awe of this place and concluded there is a being far greater than I am. I could not conceive of a place like this. How can there not be a God? Who else could put all of this together if not God. Big bang theory, Chaos theory or whatever. The intelligence, the artistic creativity, the life all points to a Supreme Being. Others may use other names for this being, but God is the only name that does it for me.

Over my lifetime I have searched for God. I sometimes find God in books. Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis is but one. The City of God by St. Thomas Augustine is another. I sometimes find God in sports. There is something of great beauty in Michael Jordan flying through the air on his way to the hoop. The symmetry of a Sandy Koufax curve or a Willie Mays “basket catch”. Something exhilarating in a Joe Namath pass, a Jerry Rice catch and a Christian McCaffrey run. How can one not see a glimpse of God in Van Gogh’s Starry Starry Night, the ceiling of Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Russia or a Remington Sculpture. The sparkle in the eyes of a couple on their wedding day and the sheer joy in a child’s laughter. There is no place better to find God than in a desert at night with the black sky filled with stars, or a mountain with crystal clear blue skies after a new snow or quietly walking through a field of ready to harvest corn.

In those moments I remember a great scriptural quote, “Be still and know that I am God”. In my solitude I find that when I am still, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually God speaks through the wind, the birds, and the trees. God speaks through the light, the color, and the forms I see. God is great.


Francis (Frank) Remkiewicz is an area resident and contributes a monthly column focused primarily on faith and religion. He can be reached at Opinions expressed are those of the author.