Tommy and I take frequent walks in Hahamongna and see all walks of life enjoying it when we do--horseback riders, young families hiking, people walking their dogs, and kids playing frisbee, not to mention the birds and other wildlife that thrive here. The area is a rare natural habitat, one of the few in Southern California that has not been destroyed. I feel fortunate to live in a city that has so far been committed to preserving this natural environment. It's a shame that the community is now in a position of having to fight to save it, but Hahamongna is worth fighting for, so fight we will.
At the moment I'm visiting my sister and her family in central Vermont, a state committed to conserving the land. You see the wonder of that commitment in the rolling green mountains, the winding dirt roads, and the acres of small farms. I've been visiting them here for over 20 years, and each time I return I'm relieved to see that, although it has grown, the natural landscape has not been destroyed. The beauty that brought people here in the first place has been maintained.
How will Pasadena look in 20 years? What will the next generation think of the city? Will people choose to live here because of a couple of soccer fields and large parking lots that provide easy access to those fields? Or will they choose to live here because the city had the foresight to preserve natural open spaces for wildlife and people alike to enjoy?
The word "Hahamongna" means "flowing waters, fruitful valley" in the original native language that was spoken here. Many years after that language was no longer spoken, Einstein wrote about man's "delusion of consciousness," in that man considers himself separate from the whole of the universe. He said we must widen "our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole [of] nature in its beauty."
Let's be guided by the wisdom of those who lived and enjoyed this area long before we did and make decisions for which future generations will thank us. Instead of paving over the land, let's commit to a sustainable future where all people in the community can enjoy and cherish this natural habitat. If we don't, this open space will be gone to us forever.
Please visit these blogs and websites to learn more about saving Hahamongna: