I grew up in an ordinary house in an ordinary suburb of San Diego, California. But, with an undeveloped canyon on the edge of our neighborhood, it felt like a wonderland. My siblings and I built forts and spent countless hours playing in imaginary worlds of our own creation. When I was little, Mom and I used to walk in the canyon. One time she suddenly crouched down to point out some flowers, “belly-flowers,” she called them, because they were so tiny you had to lie down on the sunbaked soil to appreciate their beauty. They looked like treasures to me.
I loved finding treasures! I even wrote a poem about them that got published in a school journal. I was invited to read my poem in front of a group of grownups at a conference. That was exciting!
Now that I’m a grown-up writer, I still love the stumbling upon little treasures . . . on walks in the woods with my dogs, while chatting with my husband and daughters at the dinner table or buried within the pages of a good book. And I’m still trying to showcase those treasures in the books and articles that I write.
Me (center) with my husband and daughters.