never-ending adventures as we entertained ourselves with sticks and rocks and built fairy huts under the pine trees and caught snakes and toads. One summer we rescued a baby bird and nursed it back to health. Another summer we fed baby raccoons off our deck almost every night.
We lived in a big city. But nature encroached on us, and we cherished it. We built forts with our neighbors and declared ourselves the rulers of our kingdom. We became detectives and made posters with our 'services,' which we stapled around the neighborhood. (Lost your cat? We will find it!) We built boats out of the woodpiles in one neighbor's yard, with only one nail/hammer injury. My mother set up tea parties in the backyard and blankets on sticks, and we were given free rein to enter her closet to dress up and walk our pet dogs (stuffed toys on strings) down the block. Our bikes were our stallions, and we named them Black Beauty and Northern Dancer and galloped on wheels around the neighborhood.
Now I am older and the leader of my pack of nature-loving dreamers. We count the days until summer vacation arrives, not because my children are desperate to finish school-they all love school, in fact-but because with summer comes imagination, the ability to live in a two-month dream of magical adventures that only kids have.