Do you remember the Summer of Love?
1967, baby. I was 13.
A certain older sibling who shall remain nameless introduced me to pot that summer. We were camping in Big Sur, and my sis got it from a new friend, a tall woman with an auburn Afro and rust-colored, fringed boots. I don’t remember feeling high – I was probably too excited to inhale properly – but I remember the magic. Even touring the Haight with my parents in our vacation-loaded station wagon seemed otherworldly, blissful. All those hippies flashing peace signs.
The Sexual Revolution was in full swing, and many of us Boomers were right in there with it. We were a shockingly uninhibited generation. It was all there for the taking, and we did whatever we wanted. There were no consequences! We had the pill to prevent pregnancy, and any STDs were (we thought) treatable with a little dose of this or that. With the specter of Viet Nam hanging over us, we felt justified in partying our asses off. Who knew what tomorrow would bring, with those old fogey warmongers in Washington DC calling all the shots?
What made me think of this whole period of my life was a post this morning on my friend Vonnie’s blog, Boomer Women Wise and Wonderful. She reports that many Boomer Women are angry that they’re not feeling the love. Many of our generation, now baggin’ and saggin’, are bummed out that a good number of our men can’t get it up. Or can’t be bothered.
And some of the women are fine with that.
Time passed and we got older, with all the changes that brings. I often wonder where the carefree-hippie part of our generation went. We seem so conservative now, and the younger generations see us as a bunch of consumption-happy gluttons who’ve run the country’s budget off the rails. I wish they could have known us back when we lived in communes and talked about living off the land. Making our own bread, doing things organically. Bricks in our toilet tanks to conserve water.
I miss the purity of our intentions.
Sure, we were young and naive. I miss that sense that we can fix things, especially now, with the country divided into colors and our elected representatives sinking into the quicksand of intransigence. I wonder if, maybe when we’re really old, we’ll be able to go back to that openness and tolerance? Will anybody have the nerve to hang a peace sign in their 55+ community?
But as for dancing naked in the rain? Maybe some things are better not revisited.
Kindle readers can contact me at LMSpreen@yahoo.com.