Secret Garden & Currency of Attention

The currency of our attention. It’s pretty scarce these days.   How long do we really pay attention to anything?  How precious is our time?  When you give yourself the gift of time amazing things can open up.  For me I find all my extra time in the early morning. It’s when I write for the blog and newsletter. I pet my pets. Stretch. Think about exercising.

Aren’t we all works in progress?

Yesterday I woke up earlier than normal.  I thought a walk would be good but it was cold outside and I drove up to the hills instead.  I parked with a nice Bay Area view.

You know those views every town in the Bay with hills has that we often take for granted?  We should give those more attention right?

When I was a teen in Berkeley I spent a LOT of time looking out from those hills.  Just like looking at the ocean, it has a way of putting things in perspective for me.  There were some heavy thoughts on my mind as I watched the sun slowly wash up towards me like the ocean tide coming in.  I felt lighter after a while.  I thought about how easily I gave up my idea to walk.  So I went back to my house and changed out of my slippers (who was I kidding, I wasn’t trying to walk) and into my tennis shoes.

I headed over to a park near by in Union City that I’d never checked out before.  Dry Creek Regional Park.  It’s connected to Garin Park in the Hayward Hills.  I walked the trails for a while and it was stunningly beautiful.  Everything is so green from the rains, the water on the grass sparkles like diamonds and all these hot days recently have the spring flowers blooming already.  As I was leaving, I wandered over to the start of another trail.  Tucked away in between the two trail starts is this metal gate.  I walk closer.  There is a stone pillar on either side of the gate covered in flowering vines and there carved on the pillar on the right in the midst of the vines it says Dry Creek Cottage.  The gate is locked but there is another sign

This garden is open to the public 10-4 Thursday – Saturday.  I can see all kinds of luscious flower beds.  It’s Monday so I can’t go inside yet.

When I get home I google it and I find the story of Dry Creek Cottage and the gardens.  First owned by one of the first settlers Jonas B. Clark in the late 1800’s the 60 acre piece of land is full of natural flora and fauna, hiking trails and the quaint cottage surrounded by … A Secret Garden!  It was a picnic ground and host to the annual May Day celebration (could that be why the little street at the park entrance is called May Road?) Probably not.  It was named Dry Creek Ranch after the next owner August May, Sr bought it in 1884.  Later the land was bought by the famous Meyers sisters Edith, Mildred, and Jeanette, who held fundraising events there.  The same Meyer’s sisters that owned and bequeathed Meyer’s House and Garden Museum in Alameda.  Dry Creek Cottage was a summer home for the sisters and a landmark.  The gardens, cottage, and 60 acres of land were gifted in 1979 by the Meyers sisters to the East Bay Regional Parks District for all of us to enjoy.

If I hadn’t gifted myself some extra time I would never have discovered this slice of beauty so close to my home.

It left me thinking about the importance of our time and attention.  Yes, we use attention in marketing and it’s important for business big and small to succeed.  With busy lives, tons of distractions, a list of relationships we should be nurturing more, everyone’s time is precious. This currency of attention is spent for marketing our business and ideas.  We no longer need to pay a ton of money for a billboards or a television commercials.  Instead we utilize social media that’s available and mostly free to try to provide content that grabs your attention for just a few minutes. Long enough hopefully for you to find some value.  Another way is by making a big difference and then sharing the difference you make with others.
Like my good friend Carlos Magdaleno (soon to be new owner of Mexico Lindo Restaurant and Bar in Union City) who just wrote a check to sponsor the Los O’s Fast Pitch Baseball Team. I snapped a pic of them getting the check with huge smiles on their faces.  I shared that on Facebook and they are getting a bunch of likes. See their big grins HERE
When we make a contribution to your community it is valuable and usually gets plenty of attention. Like the contribution the Meyer’s sisters made to the East Bay. They have my complete attention today.  Thank you Ladies.


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