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by David P Faustina

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It is a beautiful summer morning here in Los Angeles, the temperature is hovering around 77 degrees and is not expected to climb too much higher. It is one of those days that makes you want to travel outdoors and explore. I wonder what is going on at the zoo today? I have always loved the zoo. It is often the one place we forget exists until that one day in summer when the park and mall have worn their course that the idea hits- let’s go to the zoo. I am in one of those moods today, and heck, I live about 20 minutes from the Los Angeles Zoo. Can you believe it? I didn’t know such a place existed here, either. And yes, they have real animals and trees and flowers and plants and ponds, and yes! in the center of the metropolis of cars, cement and strip malls. Today I proclaim to be Zoo Day! Then the realization that it is still only Wednesday quickly and harshly smack you across the head. Emails, voicemails, distributors, vendors, colleagues, family, friends and often the neighbors all vying for a piece of your time and frankly, you don’t have time for any of them, but we must find time anyway.  

 I often wish I could be young again with those nice long summer vacations and all the major holidays off. But do I really now? It is so hard being a kid and I think back to the stress over homework, the Sunday night blues, the practices, the recitals, the pop quizzes and the trying to find your place in the animal kingdom called the playground each day at 10:15am. So, I retract my wish and go on about my day, but I still wish I could muster the courage and the guts to turn off my phone, draw the blinds and call out sick- and make my day, a zoo day!  

 Far-fetched and reality simply will not allow for this type of revolution to occur, but ponder this, have we forgotten to live a life where freedom and learning thrive? Have we become so programmed now that spontaneity is felt to be a crime? Maybe it’s time we evaluate our own personal ROI and take a minute to invest in us and take the time to see the eagle fly.  

 So today, there will be no zoo, at least in physical form, but harken the days of my past, the zoo, here I come.  

 I invite you to escape with me, to take a personal day, to find a quiet place to read and pick up a book from yesterday. Off to the zoo I go and Ann Rice will take me there. Thank you, Ann, for reminding me, once as a child and now many years later, to never forget the person inside that makes the “zoo” a priority.  

 Today, I go to the zoo on page and memory too, to the place Rice took me to, when I was two years over two.  

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