Gratitude And Exploring.

I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.~e. e. cummings


Oops… There’s a tiny lake.

It’s been a perfect weekend here in Florida. Spring is here, if not by the calendar than by the temperament of the weather.

Today was sunny and about 75 degrees… The perfect day for exploring!

We’re lucky to live right next to a 973 acre nature preserve called Black Creek Ravines. We can walk out our driveway, cut through a little path and be in the preserve in five minutes…

And that’s what we did today, my daughter, myself and our Swedish Vallhund Sunshine.

We found our path blocked by a tiny lake though… It’s the result of all the rain we had a couple days ago.

Not to be deterred, we picked our way across… Five minutes later we were covered in mud, had scratches from thorns and had to fight off an attack from a colony of fire ants…

They won, and we ran away…

The preserve is a great place to hike, or to fight fire ants.

The preserve is a great place to hike, or to fight fire ants.

Once past the mud hole we headed North for a couple of miles. The Ravines are a great place for a hike.

My daughter and I paid attention to the various tracks we found in the sand. We saw tracks from deer, foxes, dogs, horses and even a cat.

We have a young guy who lives in our neighborhood who runs barefoot… we saw his tracks too…

I hoped to find some Sasquatch tracks, or skunkape, as we call it here in Florida, but  no luck.

It was an uneventful but satisfying hike. We didn’t see anything remarkable, until we looked with “new eyes”…

explorers (Small)

My daughter, Sunshine the wonder dog and me, going back to nature…

We’re remarkably fortunate to live alongside a nature preserve…

The preserve is remarkably peaceful and beautiful…

I’m remarkably grateful that my daughter now lives with me, and that we can share these hikes and everything else that goes along with life.

Spring is almost here with the promise of renewal, rebirth and life… I’m ready for it.

My life has taken a new direction and I’m pleased with where it’s going… This is going to be a great year…







  1. Quiet Mary · · Reply

    Sounds really nice; a nice place to live.

    1. It is. We’re grateful for it.

  2. Thanks for taking me along ! 🙂

  3. This is a terrific article full of hope, promise and love.

    I appreciate your self-awareness and tremendous gratitude, John. Taking time to spend time with your girl that you have the great fortune to have with you full-time and explore the world outside your door is surely something she will never forget.

    We only have so much of the most precious resource, time, available to us. You consistently demonstrate, to the world at large, that making the most of the little time we have is of the utmost importance. For this I thank you.

    1. I squandered a lot of time in the past. Sometimes it makes me sad to think about just how much. I think we all do this when we’re younger and/or dumber though.

      All I can do is live fully in the present and be thankful that I now see the value in everything.

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