We showed up to the library a bit early the other day. As we stared at the ‘CLOSED’ sign I suddenly remembered there was a small park just a block up the street. I swept the kids along the sidewalk, talking up this new playground shadowed by purple-blossomed trees.  Then we arrived and we saw a flat, dusty, sand-filled pit.

No toys.

No park.

Nothing.

What could we do?  Have a blast.


Madison made me a birthday cake from dirt, stones, flower petals, and plastic scraps.

Hunter learned the essential boyhood skill of sliding down a metal bannister.

Leah snuggled in my lap under the shad of a jacaranda tree until she gathered enough courage to explore the grassy hillside and climb the concrete steps.

What could have been a half hour of disappointed complaining turned into thirty minutes of pure imaginative play.

Who knows what happened to all the playground equipment. We didn’t need it. The empty spaces and sand filled pits reminded us that it’s not what waits around the corner or up the road. It’s what’s in our minds an hearts that sets our imaginations free.

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