Last week I was driving home and saw something down the road in front of me. I pulled the car over and grabbed the camera and started to shoot. In my mind as I shot, I wished I had a longer telephoto lens to get a better picture. Meantime I just shot what I could, not really knowing what it was in detail, as it was still too far to see.
I put the camera away, drove home and took the dog for a walk. As Page the dog and I, came up on the scene from a different direction, I could see closely that what this bird was preying on was a dead turtle in the road. I didn’t know if it had been there crushed before the bird got to it… or was it slow easy prey for the fast sharp-eyed hawk?
I looked up at where I had parked the car and where I shot from earlier… when I wished I had a longer lens. And out of nowhere I realized, I did actually have the telephoto lens in my bag, I had just forgot I had it! I spent the rest of the week wondering about many past events when I wished I had more of something when in fact I had everything I needed, I just forgot I did. How many times in my past had I felt inadequate about a person, place or thing, when all along I had all that I needed right in front of me?
I charged into the weekend with a full on metaphysical wave of wonder that had grown into a temporal tsunami. Remembering that I have the power to create virtually anything, I set out just to create a little outstanding photo opportunity. It had been a while since I created big magic and craved that giant juice.
Scanning the internet for clues to little known events frequented by strangers in-the-know, I decoded two addresses to use as destinations for a Saturday morning. The first stop was at something called a Sunflower Maze. I had never been, but thought it would offer something gorgeous to share and with my refreshed powers to manifest my will… I called the forces together to make these Sunflowers more magnificent than anyone had ever seen before.
Lucky or by design, I arrived at the field before it opened and had the freedom to roam the perimeter just as the early sun shined on those big yellow heads.
Some of the magnificent flowers were shy and hid behind all the tall stalks in front. Some were not quite born yet and just crowned the first bend of their yellow petals. Others still wrapped in the jaws of their wavy green cage were just about to bloom, but not exactly ready yet.
Some offered breakfast for the bees. Some stood tall and stared back at me like a mighty cyclops. And then others just stood out with such pride as if they knew how perfect they looked against the cool blue sky.
As it got closer to the time when the maze was about to open to the public… mini vans started to appear from all directions filled with little children and already exhausted parents. My cue to move on as I couldn’t imagine getting better shots than the ones I had, and drove to my next destination. I just had an address as the shock of the Sunflower Farm made me forget why I scribbled that second address.
I blindly headed east on my way to Myers Rd without a clue as to why. I cruised down one winding back road after another as I listened to the best classic rock and music from the late 60s and early 70s. In my potent mind I went back in time as I drove thinking about those nature lover sunflowers while listening to the Grateful Dead, the Doors, the Allman Brothers and Zeppelin.
Images of bandanas and tie dye flashed in my mind. Painter’s Pants and braless hippie girls with big smiles and braided hair frolicking in the woods with dogs and having great conversations with strangers; part flirting part innocent. Forgetting about my power to conceive I arrived at my destination which seemed like it was a mistake from the road.
I turned into some unassuming Boy’s Camp and drove down a dirt road that led deep into the woods that could not be seen from the road. I soon came to a group of people and what looked like a booth to check-in. I rolled the window down and turned the volume down on Casey Kasem via satellite as this blonde hippie looking chick in faded and worn torn overalls approached the car. “Are you here for the festival mister?”
Completely forgetting what led me to this place I said, ” What festival? What’s going on here?” As she replied I could see other hippie looking people coming and going from all directions. Everyone was in bare feet, tie dye and in couples or groups. “This is the Orange Blossom Jamboree mister and it’s the coolest place you’ve ever been to!”
I gave her some money and she give me a wrist band and I parked the car. I grabbed the camera from the back, shut the trunk and walked deep into the woods. I knew I was about to lose myself in this place and I was completely open to embrace what was to come next.
As I entered the festival, I passed hippies everywhere. I call them hippies but they were me 40 years ago. They were as young as I remember I used to be when it was cool to have dirty feet, a mutt at your side and a frisky firm girlfriend that smelled of lemons who knew how to throw a frisbee. It seemed like hundreds of people from all around had converged on this festival for the weekend and set up camps all over the grounds.
As my mind desperately tried to deny the joy of where I had arrived, the quantity of VW Vans everywhere made my little magical manifestation complete beyond doubt, that I had indeed gone back in time.
Deeper and deeper into the forest of the forgotten I forged. Passed dreadlock couples and young girls singing folk songs for money.
I passed hundreds of campsites with cool names filled with cool people dressed in cool clothes listening to cool music. It was another world deep in the woods, back in time, to a place where people were free to look and be however they wished.
There were bands playing at various venus between the camp grounds that attracted campers, kids, old folks looking back , young folks looking ahead and everyone in between.
There were tons of food trucks and craft vendors and artists and everyone wandered and said hello to each other and looked at each other in the eye as they passed and smiled.
Throughout the grounds were installations of fantasy characters and magnificent art all fueling the journey to a place at the edge of our memory. A time when everything was new and full of potential. A time when we let our untethered selves out to play, while our responsible worrisome mind was dizzy, unconscious, paralyzed and in shock with the revolution and the revelation.
Everywhere wandered children looking like adults questioning the purpose of their place in the universe , and adults wandered around like children questioning nothing just wanting to play.
I felt myself not want to leave, yet my camera was full and I was compelled to look at the photos and share the story of my adventure. As I got to the car and opened the driver’s side door and sat down… I could see something shining up at me from the grass. I was tempted to pick it up and take it with me as a souvenir but decided to leave there for the next person that pulled into that spot.
I was thinking that the next person parking there might open the car door thinking that they needed a lighter and just as they realized they didn’t have one… they could just miraculously look down to see that they were missing nothing, and had all they needed.