I'm packing up my conceptual patchouli and my cerebral tie-dyes as we get ready to head down for 3 Days of Peace, Love & Understanding at the Oregon Country Fair and there is nothing funny about that, although hopefully there were be plenty of laughs to go along with the music, tofu, and herbal scented air. I'd be sure to wear some flour in my hair to prove I can bake bread as well as chop wood and carry water, but I've lost all the hair I had except for what shifted downwards and turned white as it fell so the flour won't show up, and besides we are having a heat wave and baking bread doesn't sound like such a good idea. And truthfully I've had so many aches and pains I'm not really sure I could still carry water or chop wood, but in my mind all things are possible because nothing is real. Except LOVE.
We are taking time to celebrate because Papa Seed and I are celebrating our 18th Anniversary. That happened quickly. Some folks say "That's a long time", but my Mama and Daddy were married for 58 years at the time of my Daddy's death, so I've got my work cut out for me if I'm to follow in their shoes, and based on the number of times Papa Seed has started to refer to me by either my Daddy or Mama's name depending on what I'm saying or doing or worrying about I seem to be following indeed. It also isn't really that long of a time when I think of how soon we got here, and lately I've been somewhat consumed, if one can be "somewhat" consumed, with just how soon it has been.
We celebrate our years together by taking three teenage boys on a road trip, to camp in a State Park close to the coast, and to go to an event full of people who remember the 60's even if many of them weren't born yet. Papa Seed was born in the Summer of Love, but in so many ways, the ways that made me interested in a second and third and fourth and eventually 18th year full of dates, reminds me of my big sister who was one of the Original Hippies back in the day. She was the one coming home to tell me Mama about Love-Ins and marijuana and organic food and "Soul on Ice" and who taught me how to use chopsticks and the meaning of Yin and Yang and the use of Tiger Balm and that all people are beautiful. I miss my Big Sister, but there is some of her in many people around me, most whom never knew her, especially Papa Seed. I miss my Mama and Daddy too, although my Daddy and I didn't always get along but now I am so much a part of them are they are a part of me that they are always here.
I'd like to think that Mancub and Bouda and their Giant Friend who is joining us and who is part of our home often will someday look back and remember what Papa Seed and maybe even me gave them. Not the video games and black pants and hamburgers, but the things they don't always seem so thrilled to receive, like how to use chopsticks and the meaning of Yin and Yang and how to grow organic food and the joy of making your own beer and the healing power of Tiger Balm and that no one is a "bum" and that all people are beautiful. I might not be around for it but I hope it happens.
Papa Seed Cooks With Love
And I guess that is one of the reasons it seems right to celebrate 18 Years of Love with my man in a forest with hippies and trees and music and art and food and the teenage boys that have become our life, if not exactly how we planned it. I'll get irritated and they will get angry and they will hate my music and I will hate their freaking out when we are out of texting range, but someday they may say "Remember that time..." and they will be smiling when they say it. It may never happen, but it may happen quickly, like in 18 years.
I'm taking Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass" with me. It was the first gift Papa Seed ever gave me. He also gave me a love of the Blues, Kim Chee, Love & Rockets and Los Bros Hernandez, Homebrew, Yeast on Popcorn and a million other things and together he has increased my love of Dogs, Trees, Nature, Food and Learning Constantly. And we just got started. We'll just keep Truckin' On.
I'm a very fortunate guy.