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!