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JODY PIKE, San Juan Capistrano

Our San Juan spirit of community is alive and well!

Our love and kindness rock snake proclaims: Peace! Joy! Love!

Citizens of San Juan Capistrano, who, like myself, have been horrified, depressed and angry about the continued construction of new homes, the growing traffic problems, and the consequent loss of the small, horse town and tight-knit community we loved, can take heart. 

The spirit of peace and caring and goodness lives on in our city!

One morning on my daily walk along the horse trail above Aguacate Road, I noticed a good-sized green rock at the beginning fence post. Standing next to it, a small sign, painted by an unknown neighbor, read: “A love & kindness rock snake. Please add a painted rock and let’s see how long our lovely snake can grow! Cheers! (*idea taken from the Lake Elsinore Rock Snake.)”

A “rock snake” along the horse trail above Aguacate Road encouraging love and kindness fills San Juan Capistrano resident Jody Pike with hope. Photo: Jody Pike.

Happily, the snake has taken life on our beautiful trail. This trail, one of our city’s treasures, is enjoyed by hikers, riders, and now, by an increasing number of dog walkers. The trail defines our equestrian community and is a surviving symbol of our small equestrian town.

How fitting that the love and kindness snake should find a home here, in a neighborhood where some of us have lived for over 40 years. We long for the “good old days,” when our dogs ran free in the hills above our homes. A time before “progress,” (the above-mentioned new homes, businesses, hotel) insidiously caused our small-town community atmosphere to crumble, step by designing step.

Yet, in midst the COVID-19 pandemic, our economy, the attacks on our Capitol, our tragic homeless condition, here, in San Juan Capistrano, a rock snake can be born! Slowly, at first. But as the unknown painters of rocks (my two granddaughters among them) began to place their creations in line behind the face of the green head, the snake has continued to grow. 

So perhaps our feeling of community and unity is not lost.

Our San Juan spirit of community is alive and well! 

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