I am grateful for:
1. The Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens.
This oasis of nature in the northern reaches of the city of the first 9 years of my life, Claremont, Ca. was my first extended experience of nature and was the place where I found my very first pets.
Yes, Pollywogs, those tiny little critters in the pond at the garden that would grow into Frogs.
I had my first lessons about responsible pet ownership tossing a few of these critters in a water-filled container and taking them home where I took care of them until I no doubt lost interest.
Hey, I was only 4 or 5 years old, give me a break!
(Series begins here = Daily Gratitude Writing Challenge Summer 2013 Preview)
2. The grounds of Pomona College, and the old, original building, below which the HQ of the grounds crew was located.
Next to the baseball diamond, attached to Bridges Hall of Music (AKA Big Bridges), and eventually torn down for a parking lot, the below ground haven for the grounds crew and the tools of their trade, was a place of mystery, wonder, the pungent smells of plants, and dirt and manure.
It was a place of friendship and stories, a place where a young boy would come, when not in school, to hang out with his Macedonian father, and his comrades; WW2 refugees from all across Europe, and a couple of Mexican immigrants, who daily made sure the college was the beautiful institution of learning it was.
The grounds of the college were a wonder of nature that a child could explore with his parents, or on his way to school, with the eerie wolf howl of one of the Mexican guys (hidden from my view somewhere near where I walked) echoing in his ears.
3. The streets of the college town of Claremont.
On foot, for a while on a skateboard, then on my earliest bicycles, I explored the streets of the neighborhoods where I lived.