I grew up in the 1960′s and 70′s. Deep South, Pensacola, Florida. Episcopalian Mother, Assembly of God Grandparents. My Father pretty much walked away from anything religious, be it practice or conversation.
Pop AM radio was my window to the world. Discovered the Beatles just as they broke up. Didn’t matter, bought all the records. The “hippie” movement for lack of better terminology, was quietly ingrained in my spirit. The spirit that said it was not only good to question things of life, but necessary. A spirit that said it was ok to take a different road. Looking back it’s easy for some to poke fun at the “hippie’s”, but aside from the natural missteps that come with pioneering, the spirit of that movement had a good, true heart.
My Maternal side stayed in the North after arriving in this country somewhere around 1631. My Paternal side approximately 1670, making their way through Virginia, North and South Carolina, and into South Alabama. Fear was a part of our spiritual lives. Part of the makeup that laid some of our foundation. While fear was alive, it wasn’t alone. Shame was there too. The Episcopalian side didn’t operate with as much fear, but the falling short brought shame. Pretty lethal combination.
Back to the “hippies” ! While much of my culture thought this new generation was cause for all the worlds ills, my Mother directly and my Father quietly tapped me into a deep belief in the goodness of people. To live and let live. They saw the spirit more than the outward appearance. That it was just a generation asking questions and drawing some lines in the sands of “it’s always been this way- so it’s the way it’s always gonna be”. My folks weren’t hippies by any stretch, but they shared an optimism that things usually work out well. They wanted my sister and I to enjoy the natural gifts of this life. The beauty and simplicity that God has created. Sounds a little commune-ish, doesn’t it !? Sounds like Jesus to me !
I was listened to by my elders. I was given a voice and they were quietly teaching me to use my ears. I don’t really know if this post has a point or if I’m just exercising a few old ghosts that seem to dog my trail from time to time. In the shadows of the upcoming elections, Car dealer ads in the morning, and media in general, it makes me wonder if listening and not just hearing is a part of culture anymore. Is someone else’s point of view honored at all. With the political process it seems like the headlines are something important, you know, those issues are what we want to sink our teeth into, but it all fades away after the last word of the headline. The body of the story is always nonsense. It’s shuck and jive, the old shell game. I wonder where conversation went to; whether it be about Gays, Right to Life, Republican, Democrat, Iran, Korea, Christianity, Native America, the list goes on and on. I really believe if you could sit quietly and talk with people that we’d find we are a hell of a lot closer to each other than we think. It’s the ones, the loud ones that garner TV time that divide us. This isn’t the depth of truth, but meant to be a place where the exchange of thought is made.
As I grow older and move around this beautiful circle of life I am seeing things from an angle that I never even knew existed much less would have believed in. It’s wonderful to listen. It’s a honor, for all of the ones we point fingers at, are all from the same Maker. Muskogee people call it the Beloved Path. They were right , it is. Paths have bridges not walls. Just trying to stay connected to and in harmony with the Creator, the Master of Breath.
Ok, as usual I don’t know how much sense all of that made, but also as usual, I’m not going to edit, and just going to let it slip on out there and hope one line, maybe just one resonates with someone.