I grew up in California. My childhood was filled with adventures up and down the coast, and into the mountains. I was shy and creative, and I loved to read books. I found things that made me happy early, and I did them often.
We spent quite a bit of time along the Pacific Ocean near Jenner. We camped, and explored, and ate fresh abalone for dinner. It was cold, and windy, but also very beautiful. I learned to explore there.
I collected wildflowers in a small wood flower press that I had gotten as a gift. The flowers I collected were tiny, as they had to fit in the small press I carried with me. I kept them for many years, in the press, until I gave it away in one of my many moves. Sometimes I'll go through my old boxes, and think I'll find it. But it seems to be gone. I remember the flowers though. Tiny purples ones and translucent orange ones mostly. Delicate and pretty. Details that others passed by to see the view of the huge ocean instead.
My sisters and I explored the tide pools. We collected starfish by placing them in one chosen tidepool as freezing cold ocean water rushed in and out. The pool was filled with the starfish and many other little animals of the sea. We would run our fingers over the sea anemone and watch them shrink and pull in quickly and then open later again. We let the crabs walk on the dry areas and then return to the pool. We watched the snails move slowly on the bottom. Sometimes at the end of the day, I would take a photo of the tide pool from above it. It was always filled with many starfish by then. When we returned to the same place, weeks or months later, the starfish were scattered along the coast again.
I'm very thankful for the memories that I have of the trips of my childhood. I learned to explore and appreciate beauty. It is something that has stuck with me for many years. I do it any time I travel, or even when I just go for a walk in my neighborhood. I love looking at the huge views, but I also really love the little details of the place that I am in. It is important to see both.
These memories come back to me. Even though my flower press and photos of the tidepools are long gone, the memories reamain. Thinking about them, and painting them gives me pleasure, and brings me joy. I find it healing to remember the good things and the tiny things. I find it is best to keep my mind on things that are true, noble, right, pure and lovely. Always. Every day. It is the way I see.