I thought that for the new year I would make an offering. In this case, my offering is a few images of other peoples offerings and the trees that slowly patiently hold and embrace those tokens of faith, hope, and beauty.

I am always curious to see how and what people offer to their respective gods and faiths. It seems that no matter what the religion humans need to make offerings of one sort or another and here in the Mekong Delta trees are often chosen as the altars for those offerings. Perhaps for the symbolism of the tree itself or maybe because it was the closest and most permanent place to make that offering.

These images are in no way intended to cast any judgement on any religious beliefs or practice.

No matter if the altar is large and ornate, speaking of opulence and power or small and quiet, reflecting the humility and dignity of the person making the offering, I find these altars to be endlessly beautiful, each in their own way. I love to see how the trees become the altar over time.

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“Have patience with all things, But, first of all with yourself.”
― Saint Francis de Sales

“Beauty is unbearable, drives us to despair, offering us for a minute the glimpse of an eternity that we should like to stretch out over the whole of time.”
― Albert Camus

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”
― Confucius

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”
― Mother Teresa

“The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.”
― Voltaire

“Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.”
― Hal Borland

“If patience is worth anything, it must endure to the end of time. And a living faith will last in the midst of the blackest storm.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.”
― Thomas Aquinas

“The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.”
― Albert Einstein

“Faith: not wanting to know what is true.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

“Faith in oneself is the best and safest course.”
― Michelangelo

“Trees are the earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.”
― Rabindranath Tagore

“Exuberance is beauty.”
― William Blake
“You will find something more in woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters.”
― Saint Bernard

“In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they're still beautiful.”
― Alice Walker

“Beauty is not caused. It is.”
― Emily Dickinson

“Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

I look forward to seeing you out there…. and hearing your comments.

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Thank you,

Julian Ray

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