The Joyful Failed Hippie

On long, lonely days when future dreams fade, I drift backward in time, searching for the-other-day. That early day, way back when I was young and headstrong; sure of the course I set, and confident of how it would all work out. I was a dreamer full of schemes to make all my dreams come true. Enticed by rainbows and flowers braided in long, golden hair, when hair was the important statement, I sought refuge, love, and peace in nature. Simplicity, “Mother Earth News”, and self-sufficiency were the method my new husband and I chose to tame a piece of wild land, while striving to live in natural harmony. We worked very hard to leave civilization behind and live simply. We grew our food and bought what we couldn’t produce locally, from farmers; those same farmers who smirked and called us hippies but couldn’t deny our ambition or dedication. None of them could ever say we were lazy or dirty but only young dreamers, idealists. For five short, work-filled years, we gave it our best but when our babies began to get bigger, civilization called us back. Our children’s needs caused us to see the bigger picture (we grew up) so, we sold our dream and moved into town. Thus we earned the teasing title of “failed hippies” from our eldest son, who like his aging boomer parents, remembers those simple days with joy.

No television, no modern amenities, taught us appreciation for water, warm baths, and light into the evening. All the comforts we’d taken for granted came by hard work that increased their pleasure by reward. Chopping wood, hauling, and heating water made each bath in a washtub pure, bliss! Then, followed by dinner and lantern lit, happy evenings with our babies and their chatter; ending in long quiet nights resting in peaceful, hard-worker slumber. Jesus led us there and He and I spent many happy hours together, just Him and me, my Bible, and the healing scent of Pinyon trees. He revealed Himself to my husband too and we found a better kind of love, peace, and refuge than that which we sought in nature. The Bible proved to be a much better guide to living than “Mother Earth News” and we began to live according to a time-tested, better set of ideals. In truth, none can go back in time and escape living in the time God assigns to each of us but the lessons we learned by seeking to live a simple life remain with my husband and I to this day. Hard work, appreciation for simple living, and less need for material things, never goes out of style. God used our back-to-nature hippie days to teach us how to live well, within our means. There is no failure in Jesus because He works all things to the good of those who belong to Him, according to the purposes of God. Though I sought refuge from a world I hated by attempting to leave the world and create a reality of my own, God used that time to teach me how to be in the world but not like it. My love for nature and simplicity remain, along with that same anti-materialism that is satisfied through dependence upon God and doesn’t require me to step back in time. God gave me my youthful dream and then gave me a life much better than any I could ever achieve through prideful, self-sufficiency; by giving me a purpose much greater than myself. He set my feet upon a mission to tell others about Jesus and the better world to come. A world filled with natural beauty where all things live in peaceful harmony; peace and harmony better than any hippie chick dream! That future hope that fills this failed, old hippie with joy!


16 thoughts on “The Joyful Failed Hippie

  1. My 43 year old stepdaughter, in describing me to someone recently, said that I am “a little bit hippie.” LOL. I told her I was a hippie wannabe in the 1960s and 70s, because I liked the music and clothes, but not the drugs and wild living.

    We went to a Christian women’s retreat last weekend in Taos, at the Calvary Chapel there. It was like a foretaste of heaven, one of the most intense experiences of my life. The group of women who attend Calvary de Taos is awesome. The best! I wish we could live there, and not just because of the amazing beauty of northern New Mexico.

    By the way, I am the blogger formerly known as Alaina. Although I prefer that name, I have decided to use my real first name. Years ago I was on the Oprah show and she introduced me by first name only. It just recently occurred to me that I can use a clip from that show in a book trailer when my memoir is ready to publish. 🙂

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    1. Well, I did the whole hippie thing but God let me keep what was good about it and changed the rest. I joyfully, embrace the hippie chick in me.:0) I know you are Linda and Alaina and good luck with the memoir. My husband always teases me, saying that I’m going to be on Oprah someday…that scares the bejeebies out of me!

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  2. Such Down-to-Earth truth. Apparently my soul is far older than my age. I strive to remain level-headed, strong, as independent from this world as I can be while glorifying the right and learning from the wrong of this world. I desire simplicity and wholesome goodness too. This piece spoke to my soul. It’s always refreshing to feel the kindred spirit of another.

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    1. My grandparents were all homesteaders in the S.W. and I was raised on a ranch so, this simple lifestyle is natural to me but not so much for my easterner, child-of- privilege husband.:0) He would do anything for me…and both of us would go back in a heart beat. I think I should have been born in the 19th century…I’m not so impressed with the 21st.:0/

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      1. I think I’m more cut out for early times too. Technology is convenient, but I’m not all that impressed. It causes more problems than I think it’s worth most of the time.

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      2. I like self-publishing though…the same kind of miracle as the Guttenberg press. Everyone has a soap-box but nothing can replace the experience of curling up with a hardcopy book, or the feel of fine, linen paper. I’m a contradiction I guess, I love to blog but I also, pray for solar flares…

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  3. This was beautiful. It is amazing how we find refuge and peace in little things that fail us, and that we fail. Life is about knowing what you have and knowing what it would be to be without them.

    You are the coolest failed hippie I know!
    And this failed hippie inspires me!

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  4. I love the story, my piece of ground is somewhat smaller now, but it is my peace. I love thinking about simpler times, when there was a joy in what you did. One my simple ground there is roses something I love.

    Like

  5. I love to garden especially, flowers. I haven’t been strong enough to do that this summer and I miss it. It’s hard to see my shrubs and flower gardens needing attention…they miss me too. I am blessed though because I have a lot of wildlife on my property and I’m near the river, I’ve seen some animals here that I never saw in more isolated places. I still really need contact with nature.

    Like

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