Never Underestimate the Power of a Sandbox

The dark of the night often ushers in a half-sleep pondering that can drift all over the landscape. Last night, it carried me back to childhood and my backyard sandbox. It was about a foot high and four feet square, located near the old chicken coop. Dad filled it with sharp, clean sand from Park Point.

We had just moved to the Lakeside neighborhood. I was four and had found no friend my age. The sandbox became my haven. It was there I took up philosophy, wondering about everything.

I wondered about the bear in Mother’s song, the one that went over the mountain to see what he could see. My mountain was the 300-foot hill rimming our neighborhood on the north. I didn’t know it then, but the hill once formed the shore of Lake Superior. I longed to climb that hill and see what the bear saw.

I was nine or ten when neighbor John Stai took me on my first hike. We followed the trail up the hill and I saw what the bear saw—the other side of the mountain. The magic of wooded hills and streams burned into my DNA, shaping my career. To understand why I love the setting of my Woodland Garden home, visit  While you’re there, check out the wilderness adventure stories.

Never underestimate the power of a sandbox.

Old Grandpa Lloyd