I Have Faith

Leonardo da Vinci, The Virgin of the Rocks - Angel detail

Angel detail from The Virgin of the Rocks – Leonardo da Vinci

To be a gardener, you must have faith.  You must believe you can coax life to bend to your will.  You are a god.

This is a spiritual time of year, and a time to renew faith in God.  Whether a personal god, the pagan gods, or a god of doctrine and formal beliefs, true belief is a comfort.  A comfort that there are bigger things than us, that we exist in a larger spirit.  Life will always go on.  Perhaps without humans one day, but life is good, it will go on.

Thunderstorm cloud sunset, Fredericksburg Texas

I have this faith.  And yes, I believe in God despite any scientific proof.  I see it when a  flower unfurls, a seed sprouts, when the sun bursts thru the clouds.  I am comforted by faith.


For a parent, the moment your first child is born you become a convert if you did not believe before.  The joy, magic, and love can not be measured.  They simply are.  God washes through you.

In this season, commemorated by the birth of Jesus, let’s find faith in the larger spirit rekindled in that joy of a child’s birth.  God comes with a fresh promise of the innocents.  Christmas is that celebration.  It’s a great time of year to re-affirm our belief in the good power of life.

I do not practice religion and would probably be more Buddhist or Anthroposophist than Christian if I chose an organized path of spiritual expression, but I honor all the good that Jesus represents.  I was brought up in a church going family, and while rejecting the church, I do not reject the goodness of God and the underpinnings of faith.


I just don’t go in for a lot of structure and mythology in my own understanding of God, and this time of year am saddened by the commercialization that has almost destroyed the season and forces many of us to wince at the very mention of our own religion.

So many horrible things have happened and continue to happen due to religion.  Religious groups fight over who is the most pure, the truest believers, the “right” God.  Its enough to keep anyone away from any organized religion.

But there is still God.  We should still celebrate in our own way.  Now is as good a time as any.  We need every excuse to remind us we are connected to larger things, that we are small, but by our conscious recognition of God we enlarge the whole.  We are Gods too.

And this is a good time of year to be reminded.  As the sun itself is reborn in the Northern Hemisphere and the earth begins its steady march toward longer days, our gardens are resting; take a quiet moment to be glad for a greater power.

yellow gerbera backlit with bright light

Joy to the world.  There is a God.  I have faith.

Blessings to you and yours.  May you connect to your garden’s spirit, its wild spirit.    Namasté ….


About Saxon Holt

Saxon Holt is the owner of PhotoBotanic, a garden picture resource for photographs, workshops, and garden photography stories. A landscape photographer and award winning photojournalist with more than 20 garden books, he lives and gardens in Northern California.

If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (it's free).

, , ,

16 Responses to I Have Faith

  1. Mike December 24, 2013 at 6:25 am #

    Amen. Thanks for sharing your sentiments. Each day I experience the miracle of the garden and God’s world I’m thankful. Peace and joy to you in this Christmas season.

  2. Cathy December 24, 2013 at 7:40 am #

    Saxon, you’re writing is as prpofound as your photography. Thanks for a moving piece that resonates with my own philosophy, Happy, Happy Holidays to you, and a wish for good heatlh and a prosperous year ahead. From Cathy and Steve

  3. Donna December 24, 2013 at 7:42 am #

    This is a beautiful post Saxon, in sentiment, word and image. Like you, I too believe without proof, but also do not practice religion. I feel close when in nature and I have a feeling many artists and photographers do as well. It is not hard to see the miracles all around us. Have a blessed holiday season my friend. The beauty surrounds, and so does the hope for a better world.

  4. CC December 24, 2013 at 10:50 am #

    Thanks for sharing your faith! The wonder of nature is beautiful esp. through your pictures.

  5. Debra December 24, 2013 at 11:54 am #

    Saxon, your post is exquisite. It flooded me with a quiet joy, and an affirmation that the awareness of God that I’ve felt at times—always unexpected, always a surprise gift—is a glimpse of majesty. In the whirlwind of Christmas, your post is one of those gifts. A conduit of joy.

  6. Lorene December 24, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

    Saxon, this piece is my gift this Christmas… and a beautiful sentiment to carry through the other 364 miraculous days of the year when life continues to unfold around us. Thank you dearly for this unexpected blessing.

  7. Saxon Holt December 24, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    And blessings to you – now go spend the rest of the day with friends and family ;-)

  8. Saxon Holt December 24, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    Thanks Cathy – best wishes to you and yours and as I will say to everyone – now go spend the rest of the day with friends and family

  9. Saxon Holt December 24, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    Ah Donna – Thanks for reminding us to revel in the beauty of nature, where God is truly found. now go spend the rest of the day with friends and family

  10. Saxon Holt December 24, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    Thanks CC – Beauty is around us and gardener’s seem to appreciate that. I am glad to share – now go spend the rest of the day with friends and family

  11. Saxon Holt December 24, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

    Wow DL, you own words are wonderful. Thanks. Ever considered becoming a writer ? now go spend the rest of the day with friends and family

  12. Saxon Holt December 24, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    Wow, Thank You ! We don’t need a holiday to be grateful for our blessings all year. now go spend the rest of the day with friends and family

  13. Jamie December 24, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

    That first photograph of the beautiful cumulus clouds is amazing! You do see the smiling profile of a face, right? Actually, there appears many along with the center,slightly right profile of the left side of a womans face. Really impressive.

  14. Saxon Holt December 24, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

    Ahhh – Someone else saw the face … Thanks for looking closely..

  15. Mary Gray December 27, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    Beautiful. Thanks for this.

  16. Delbert Young January 3, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

    I see God in every oak tree that I planted as an acorn. Beautiful!