I spent many wonderful days exploring and nights camping out with my best friend growing up, he was my next door neighbor and we were convinced that our parents moved into our new development in houses side by side so that he and I could become great friends.
“There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy’s life when he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure.” ~ Mark Twain
Surrounding our hamlet were orchards of citrus, avocado, berry farms and an assortment of fruit trees too numerous in variety to recall. It was heaven for two 10 year old boys, and what it best of all about a mile away was the Santa Clara river bottom. A torrent of water down to Pacific Ocean during the rainy season, but on a day to day basis you could easily wade through about waist high with little fear of overwhelming currents.
A myriad of reptiles, jack rabbits, foxes, skunks and an occasional bob cat lived in and amongst the outgrowths that had flourished from days before the dam was built some 15 up river. For two hunter / adventurers with our bow and arrows, it was eden, it was nature away from the suburbs and it was freedom. My good buddy Ted’s mother was one of the original Earth Mothers, she could literally do anything and if we bagged any wild game, caught any fish and brought it home she would cook it up for lunch. We feasted on such delicacies as catfish, brook trout, frogs legs, and even squirrel adding to our sash of merit badges and odd awards for being one with nature.
What I remember most about those days, almost always agreeing with each other about how to spend our afternoons after school and those long summer months when we could hike all the way down to where the river met the ocean. There was little or no challenged moments or differences of opinion, we simply got along as if we knew what the other was thinking. I miss that and I want more of life like it today.
“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
My world today as an adult offers many opportunities to meet new people, make new friends as we explore our common interests. The myriad of activities available here in Southern California are truly endless with great weather in our favor to explore the great outdoors. What was missing however, for me at least is that common bond and openness that I share with buddies while growing up. I have see a huge improvement as of late and I am open to more connections and new friends. I was me who was resistant and I have asked myself why many, many times.
At a certain age I understood better that with the changes in life, locations, raising our children and watching them begin their lives on their own, there is a greater need to connect with people that I can learn to know better, have fun with and ultimately trust like how I felt about people when I was much younger.
The opportunity to connect for me has always been easy, for I am open, friendly and I don’t demand much of anything from my friends. I insist instead that we are open and honest, that our desire to communicate is driven by a mutual desire to trust and be trusted. I am a fortunate soul to have made so many friends along my path and today brings a new inspiration for growing a family of happy and positive souls who share in my quest.
So today I am a thankful, gracious man who has the opportunity in my new home to connect and share with others. What I am finding with my desire to write and communicate more, there are many great friends who have offered their assistance and advice as I learn to become better with words, phrases and ideas. My direction and my inspiration have been rewarded with great comments, suggestions and even a few accolades.
“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” ~ Dalai Lama
I am a lucky guy and I appreciate all that I have and anticipate where I am headed, the great unknown of the writer I have always dreamed to be. Much appreciated!