Posts tagged time. nostalgia

Back to a Night as a 70’s “Hippie”

 

To set the reader in the mood for a typical Friday night partying with friends, along with a little ditty that I happened to read on Facebook recently that we sang “way back in the day”, I want to have you think back and remember, or perhaps experience for the first time what it was like to be young and “free”, with little responsibility and even less material things. First of all , remember, we didn’t care about material things. It was part of the idea of being a hippie. We didn’t call ourselves “hippies” as a rule. But a lot of other people did. It wasn’t near as evil or mysterious as outsiders suspected. It was usually just a group of friends, sitting around in the sparsely furnished living room of a friends “pad” or house, enjoying a little pot and a lot of munchies , such as M n M’s, potato Chips, candy bars, soft drinks, beer, whatever we could get-whatever someone could afford and brought to share.

I am not advocating this lifestyle or condemning it, though as a mature adult, it seems rather trivial.

Some of the friends had jobs or went to school, some of the girl had babies. Most were in their late teens to mid twenties. The furnishings in the living room often consisted of thousand dollar stereo on which to play albums and 8 tracks which a lot of our money was spent on. The stereo was often sitting on a long board with cement blocks as legs. The house was filled with hand-me-down or throw-away type furniture. I don’t remember the houses being dirty or lacking in style. It was clean and the furniture well arranged. The door to other rooms often had strings of beads hanging from ceiling to floor. There were lava lamps and psychedelic posters on the walls.

The music was the best part of being with friends on a Friday night or any other nights. No one was forced to take drugs, and usually, the drug of choice was marijuana. The music we listened to consisted of my all-time favorite (still), Lynyrd Skynyrd, Aerosmith, J.J. Kale, old favorites from the Woodstock era, or any southern hard rock groups friends brought in to share with others. We turned the music up loud, sang along, pretended to play the guitar (some of really could, but not of the quality of the groups we listened to. It seems there always one person who put on a one man show of pretending to play the guitar, sing and dance around the room.

These were fleeting times, soon all of us would either rejoin the real world of college, jobs, family, or fall through the cracks that lead to more dangerous drugs and lifestyles. Still, I remember them fondly, and I imagine a lot of other people do too. I have seen a recurrence of a “hippie” like, earth lover types lately, and, to be honest it makes me smile. The new hippies may eat food that was (and is) strange to us who lived their youth in the 70’s, but they still decorate in a similar, though maybe more sophisticated manor, they still have beads on the doors, the pictures are more likely to be beautiful woodland scenes than psychedelic posters, the music more modern rock, hip-hop but still mingled with the favorites that have lasted the years.

Now, for those of you who have stayed with me this long-your reward-the song or “ditty”, if you will that has been sung by generations of hippies, just to get a laugh.

(Sung to the tune of “Row, Row, Row your boat” )

“Roll, roll, roll a joint, twist it at the end. Light it up, take a puff, share it with a friend!”

Peace and Blessings to the ‘hippies” of any age who may have smiled as they remembered….

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Changing seasons

As the heat of summer turns gently into fall, the deep green of growing leaves take on a tinge of scarlet.

I walk, slowly, deep in thought, down the narrow lane as rain drops begin to patter gently on the leaves far above me.DSCN2077

The rain drops mix with my tears as I remember how I loved these days. The birth of four sons during these months, the joy of life, growing so quickly as if every plant and creature knows that the time is coming for a long winter’s nap.

Now, I walk alone, the evil senseless nature of “life” having stolen one of my sons and the natural progression of time having me look up at my youngest son, six feet tall already and only fifteen.

I walk on. Some turkeys, who have become like pets, follow me along, knowing that I will feed them sunflower seeds. As they gobble and nod their heads, I think of how wild creatures survive and how hard I worked to feed 19 people for lunch today. I think of my six kids and how quickly time has passed. Now six grand kids are noisily ‘destroying’ my house.

 I stop to listen to my son and his friend tell about the bears they saw eating garbage up the road as the gentle raindrops cool my arms and cheeks. Up in the forest, I hear the crashing of branches and the crunch of leaves and I imagine that the bears are on the way down the mountain. I don’t hang around to find out.DSCN1983

 Summer is life, sweat, heat, the dreams of growing and hope of change. Autumn brings a chance to slow down, remember, smile and cry as well. Autumn always makes me reflect upon the past, some of it brings a smile, like the look of psychedelic leaves in the pasture as they shiver in the sun. Other times bring back the endless nightmare of watching my beautiful healthy son collapse on a ball field, never to come home.

 Suddenly, I remember 5th grade, a year filled with joys and sorrows, but sweetened by a school teacher who was one of the most amazing people I ever met. She taught me to love art, to believe in myself, to learn poetry that I have taught my children and grandchildren, and still remember today. Every year, on this day, I think of one of her poems, this one written by Edwina Fallis many years ago. The words float through my mind. It is called, simply, “September”.

                                                                     A road like brown ribbon,

                                                                       a sky that is blue,

                                                                    a forest of green,

                                                                       with that sky peeping through.

                                                                    Asters, deep purple,

                                                                     a grasshoppers call.

                                                                    Today, it is summer,

                                                                      Tomorrow, is fall.

 

I think how baseball took my son, his black obsidian stone shining from a hill side where it should not be for many, many years. I think of having to endure the brushes with my own death that loosing him caused, and how brave I have to be to let my younger son even go to a ball game.DSCN1416

Life and death, the mystery of which we will never know. Home. I hear the screen door as it creeks shut and I step back into the world that I often wish I didn’t have to live in. There are tiny smiles and tears living within my broken heart. There is joy and pain, the lovely simplicity with which nature creates miracles. There is the unspeakable grief that can turn a life into a nightmare.

Today, it is summer, tomorrow, it’s fall and then what? These are things we will never know, not even in our dreams.

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