When I was nearly two years old my father chose to move from San Francisco to the small community of Little River. Within a year he moved us again, slightly more north to Mendocino. He found a place about three miles from the village out among the state forest property.
They rented a small two-bedroom house for nearly three years before one of the neighbors insisted he buy an adjoining property of two-and-a-half acres. It was surrounded by 80 acres of state forest and the nearest neighbor was about a half mile away.
By the time around ten, many of the kids from town would ride their bicycles out to our property and we would play in the woods for hours. During the summer it would be several times a week. We invented many games, but the most popular was tag.
We would all scatter about the acre that was fenced in. It was a great escape and so much fun. It taught us all the value of playing together, laughing freely and being in total abandon of a simple time.
I loved the simple times growing up in Mendocino. I cherished the safety of the community. And as children we all flourished.