Whenever we travel, I'm usually wishing we could slow down or alter the schedule and be more spontaneous on the journey. Most of the time, we're on our "way" somewhere... and usually with a schedule to keep. Someday, I'd love to take a trip and just go where the road leads... stopping along the way to see places and people we find interesting. On my trip to the Bay Area today I found one of those remarkable sights that makes you want to stop and learn more. This HUGE statue is right in the heart of the Silicon Valley and just happened to be the first thing I saw when I took the exit I was looking for. Since I was alone, with no particular place to be this afternoon... I stopped.

This is The Immaculate Heart of Mary Shrine located on the grounds of Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Santa Clara, California. This statue sits up on a grassy hill overlooking the grounds. It is difficult to tell the size from the picture, but if you look very closely, there is a man standing near the base in the right corner of the shot.

There is a grammar school on site and while I was visiting the school children were processing and praying the rosary. Each "decade" was represented by a group of students with matching, colored vests. The path they took was a circular walk around the statue and through the grounds of the church. It was really beautiful.

I'm really thankful she crossed my path today... and even more thankful that I took the time to appreciate the gift.

Maybe Friday the 13th is my lucky day.