The question, “where have I been?”, for those regular readers, can be answered simply: away from wifi access for my computer.
I’ m staying with my youngest son in Santa Cruz, a town he describes as full of “rich hippies”. Well, it’s a memory for me, as this is where I raised my sons. It was actually in Aptos, and it was a struggle for me to keep food on the table and the rent paid.
But Santa Cruz still holds my heart, even though it has drastically changed over the thirty years.
Ronnie took me to see the homeless garden before showing me the new artwork on the Louden Nelson center. More about Louden Nelson after I describe the awesome garden project.
The Homeless Garden Project is run by volunteers on land that has been generously donated by brothers: one, an architect and another, a builder.
The garden is huge; full of vegetables, a space for strawberries, herbs and a peace garden where you can walk through.
Oh, and lots of flowers as well. A watchman and welcome person told me that the beautiful black cat who loves people is the actual owner of the project. I believe it.
There were three ducks in a cage vying to get the heck out of it, and squaking their plea. The man said they are usually out of the pen during the day, but at night they have to be caged because of the hungry coyotes, owls, mountain lions and who knows what else lurks at night.
The project is a beautiful example on how humans can be good to other humans. The homeless have an opportunity to learn all about gardening, and are given a certificate in organic gardening for use to get a job.
Louden Nelson was a slave who lived in South Carolina and came to the California gold rush with his owner. Nelson eventually farmed on a space that he saved up to purchase. Illiterate, he loved to watch the white children going off to school, and honored education. Before he died, he bequethed his land to be used for a school.
The Louden Nelson center is now used for the arts, dance, theater, and classes of all kinds. Nelson would be happy to see how well his space is used for the betterment of all people.