Surrounded by men and women in pony tails, I learned about tofu and chamomile tea and hanging out on some old couch and partying. I could never embrace, though, hairy arm pits on women though I did stop dying my hair, for awhile at least, until Clairol called me back into the fold. Those days have long past. I'm older and live in the city and if my toe nails aren't painted I feel wrong, but in each of us may still remain that person we once were. For me it was the carefree girl who wore blue jeans, had brown hair, and didn't worry about having a 401k that was performing well.
There were plenty of reminders of my hippie days at the retreat center. The guitar player on the left never wore shoes. I saw him wandering shoeless around the grounds with his curls bouncing not a bit worried about his feet. After we ate dinner one night, we listened to him play and he made us sing with him. Well in a nice hippie sort of way.
I never sit around singing after dinner. I have better things to do. Don't ask me what because I really can't tell you all the great important things I do. I watch a lot of House Hunters International. Does that count?
Anyway, he convinced us to sing and as we did old hippies with white long beards and red hankies on their heads strolled by. Well one did. Talk about a flashback. I sunk into the big couch in the lodge. So calm. So carefree. Why work? I wanted to quit my job, and stare up at trees, and maybe even throw away my glittery purse and never ever wear mascara again. I didn't wash my hair the entire time I was at the retreat center because they won't let you use hair dryers there. Ugh. After awhile, it was freeing and I thought I could be that hippie girl again.
My friend Amity on the left said "do as the Romans do" and she was able to be naked. Karen on the right bared her lovely self. Not me. I felt, gasp, like a conservative person. I know. That is no way for a freedom loving hippie to talk. I just couldn't do it. I'm the woman who likes to wear clothes decorated with sequins and apply the red lipstick. I need my hair color to survive. And I think that's the secret to life. Allowing ourselves to incorporate who we once were with who we are now, remembering the good stuff, but also allowing ourselves to change maybe that's the true ticket to inner peace. And a glass of wine now and then.
Why spend a lot of time looking backwards, when there is so much beauty ahead? As a writer, if not a woman running naked in the woods, what I found the most heart warming was the library at the center.