The breeze blew, sweet and cool, lifting and separating my daughter’s strawberry curls until they wave from her scalp like little, red, fiddlehead ferns. It tugged at my son’s wispy, blond comb-over, ruining the hair illusion.

It’s our favorite park, this park. It’s a 12 minute drive from the sticky asphalt of our crowded city. 12 minutes and whammo, green. Lovely, earthy, green. It’s a multi-purpose park, this haven. Perfect for short nature walks, picnics, cross-country runs, dog walking, and late night teen drinking binges.

The tall, gnarly, cranky old pines stand at attention over languid little groves of oak and birch. There are low, craggy “mountains” that overlook the entire area. A slow stream lollygags along the bottom of a steep, wooded bank and a small, busy pond sits near the playground. If you’re lucky, and early, you might see a Great Blue Heron standing there, trying to ignore your family before it unfurls its wings and shoots a disdainful flight to the other side. Snubbed by nature. No one likes toddlers that early in the morning.