The northern hills loom lyrically in windy wild abandon rising like humpback whales under Arcadian skies. Martha leaps out of the car and into the pool of light. There a grey-haired man lies in a lawn chair. Martha lunges at him and interrogates with, “What are ya’ll doing out here?”
His visage folds like a deck of cards. “I’m just chilling and eating a peanut butter sandwich.”
Huddled hippies gather, refugees from capitalism. A beautiful gypsy girl stops to greet us offering us repast in our lonely trek through life. We share a meal with her tribe and are curious about the tea house they built deep in the hills. So a guy tells the young woman, “Missy, lead them forth and thither unto our chamomile kingdom.”
So the young woman leads us on the trail across the rocky ridge. We follow her along with the flow of sandstone with her in barefoot beatitude. Martha tells our guide, “Your feet look too tender for these rocks.”
Missy replies, “Oh darling, I was barefoot growing up on the farm in Wisconsin. I guess I got used to it back then. Don’t worry my tootsies feel fine.”
We have years on Missy and get winded. Missy squats in her raggedy dress with her legs opened like bent candy canes. She smiles beatifically upon us as quiet as the tall sunflower that gazes down on us.
A woods warden spies we merry hipsters tracing our trails with voyeur eyes that peek into our personal paradise.
My wife and Missy are berried-bohemian belles chiming their core-sets. Their sunflower smiles blossom with petals strewn in my soul.
We arrive for teatime where the forest squatters say, “Welcome home!”
Missy pours a tea kettle to fill our cups and we share the herbal potion that is the key that makes us no longer strangers in this forest Woodstock.
Missy offers us joints. But we smile and I tell them that Martha and I are divinely touched and must abstain from mind-altering substances. Our confessions bring on a group hug and we dance in a circle of linked arms under the guiding light of eternal sunshine.
Our two hundred-mile journey north has brought us full circle back to life’s garden. After a downpour we walk in the post-rain cool, experiencing the rivulets of water and mud. My mind is at peace and afloat in a lake of dreams underneath the clouds.
We sit around a fire under the stars. A long-haired Jesus hippie tells us, “Our gathering is like another world completely unlike our workaday lives.”
We share our pie-in-the-sky dreams with our newfound friends. We yearn to drop out to Oregon and grow rutabagas, cucumbers, and squash. We’ll live by a pond or river and gather berries in the spring. Life will slow into sanity on a breezy day with birdsong under fluttering leaves.
A bearded Sasquatch man beats a drum and the dance begins again.