Found this photo the other day; it took me by surprise!
It also took me back fifty years…
Look at all those shells!
It must have been the 1960s – in my hippie days, when Vietnam was raging, the civil rights movement was on the rise, and I was idealistic enough to believe that my generation could put an end to all that horrific injustice and inequality by embracing values of love and peace, of inclusiveness and acceptance.
Just look at it!
A peace sign (for those of you not old enough to remember that symbol).
I had a pair of Peace earrings that I wore occasionally – they were too heavy to wear every day; I gave an old boyfriend a silver Peace medallion – he wore it around his neck on a silver chain; when I was living on the farm, we had a Jersey cow so sweet and gentle that we riveted a leather Peace sign to her collar – when she died, we nailed it (collar and all) to a maple in the eastern tree line where she used to stand in the shade on hot summer days.
As I said, I was idealistic then.
But not any more.
I’m older now, a shade wiser, and I understand that everything I have fought for in the last fifty years is on very shaky ground.
I am struggling to maintain my balance in a country I cannot recognize as my own, a country where the ideals of equality, justice, and working for the common good have been abandoned to sustain the financial and personal gain of the very few.
It’s an empty place, an empty shell.