November 22nd, 2011

Panda hug!

Journal of gratitude, entry #24: animals and nature

Today is Day #24 of gratefulness. I'm grateful for animals and nature.

I have always loved animals from when I was a very small child. We had many cats growing up, and we loved them so much. It was awesome whenever new kittens were born. I can still remember the smell of baby kitties. It was also incredibly sad whenever any of them would die, usually by getting run over by a car. We also had a dog named Chico when I was very little. And though I liked him, I must admit I'm more of a cat person than a dog person. We also had a couple of dwarf hamsters the escaped and got squashed. This led me to my current belief: I love animals, but I feel they are better kept by people who are more responsible pet owners.

We have a dog, currently, and I feel like we are better pet owners now, but I'm okay with not having any animals, and loving them from a distance.

Nature is also something that I've always loved. Growing up in Arizona, you don't really get to see a lot of flowers blooming, at least not for very long. There will be maybe a week in spring where wildflowers will pop up, and I always thought they were super pretty -- they were extremely little yellow and purple blossoms. The cactus would also bloom for about a week, and those flowers were breathtaking. All of the plants in my backyard, I would want to know their names and histories. Since I grew up during a time without the Internet, I mainly had to make up all of these.

Still, I'm fascinated with plants and the beautiful scenes of nature. I used to love camping (can't really do it now). My favorite time of day is the early morning when I wake up and there is still dew on the grass, and the morning air has a little bit of crispness in it. And maybe it's just after the sun has risen, and there's a little bit of mist in the air. And everything feels brand-new. It's amazing. It's my favorite time, and it's because of nature.

Another one of my favorite times is when it's springtime here in Southern California, and the golden poppies and that grow wildly on the side of the freeway start blooming. There's also this other vibrant purple flower that also blooms on the side of the freeway, and it's breathtaking. I love it!

Animals and nature enrich and beautify my life, and they make me happy. I am so grateful for them!

This is my camping with my friend Kerri in 1999, just before my accident.

This is Katelynne, Cecilia and I at SeaWorld in 2005, I think.