Once upon a time I lived on a farm as a nanny for the farmer’s kids. It wasn’t a typical cows and pigs kind of farm, it was actually a polo farm, which mean’s it only had horses. It also had Hens and Chickens. No, I’m not being redundant, I’m talking about this funny little plant that the farmer’s wife (haha that sounds so 1890 of me) kept a lovely garden in her front yard, where I first encountered the plants called succulents, also known as Hens and Chicks.
Hang in there, I’ll explain what this has to do with hippies soon enough. Just sit back and enjoy this little story, alright? So, while I was living on this farm, the farming family got a puppy. He was a Doberman Pinscher who the oldest boy named Arch. Arch was a silly pup, and loved to terrorize the Hens and Chicks by grabbing them from the garden and tossing them around. They might not have lasted as long if they were actually birds, but succulents are fairly sturdy plants. Arch found them particularly enticing as they kind of look like one of those nobby chew toys, and they’re not actually rooted to the ground.
Well, I suppose they were actually be rooted in the ground if Arch left them alone, but their roots are so quick to grow that all you have to do is set them on top of some soil and wait a couple of days and, presto, instant plant. They actually grow in rock gardens, which is something to be said for their resourcefulness, especially in relation to my last post about the hindrance of rocks in the dirt.
Hippies are kind of the Hens and Chickens of the world. I’m using the term “hippy” as short hand for anyone who drifts around, doesn’t stay in one place too long, doesn’t have a conventional job, but finds a way to make ends meet. Some people are lifers, others just go through a hippy phase, but whichever they are the truth of it seems to be that I am not one of them.
I have made several failed attempts at drifting and not being formerly employed, all which ended with me abandoning the bohemian ship and going for the sure thing. It was a job taking a job I knew I would hate, it was moving back in with my Mom when my life fell apart, it was going back to the country where I have citizenship when living with my boyfriend in Spain turned out not to be such a great idea.
I can’t help it; I like to grow roots. I’m like a willow tree. I wanna plunk down near your koi pond and then sneak my roots through your yard until I find the pipes running to your house and wrap myself around those too. I like to know I have a network of family and friends at my disposal when life hits the inevitable bumpy parts, and maybe even a place to park both my ass and my car at the end of a long day. I want the kind of apartment you see in movies about twenty-something year olds with ridiculous problems, none of which is that they live in a shoebox or a condemned steel mill.
The problem is, I don’t think this is the best economy to have such bourgeois hankerings. I would much better off buying some jalopy and driving to the nearest ashram and living off peanut butter sandwiches until the Dow takes a permanent uphill path.