Saturday, March 19, 2022

Sunshine Made Him High.


Picture this.  It's 1971, 6:30 in the morning.  I'm a senior in high school and chock full of teenage angst, itching to get out from under this bourgeois suburban life.  Ah, the injustice of it all!  The hypocrisy of the older generation, the endless war in Viet Nam.  Nixon.  Plus, I was going to be late for the school bus and I've already burnt one pop tart in the toaster and was frantically getting another packet out of the box.  But there's no more raspberry!  Only blueberry.  Blueberry?!  Fine.  Not my favorite.  But, fine.

I'm seventeen and next year when I'm eighteen,  I'll be able to vote.  And then, just you wait!  

My father is hovering over the coffee maker.  He's wearing his suit and tie.  He's on his way to the train station, his brief case at the ready.  Today's argument du jour--women's rights and exactly why can't I just skip college in the fall, take off a year and hitchhike around Europe?  And what's so bad about marijuana and getting high anyway?

And Papa Callan's response?  Well, sunshine makes him high.

The John Denver song is on the radio:

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high
Honestly, I want to take my book bag and hit my father over the head with it.  But, how could I be mad at this man who was so completely sincere?  His coffee mug in hand.  Extra cream and sugar.  Happy. 
I don't want to be the school yard bully and stomp on John Denver.  He never did anything to me.  I let it pass.  I'm late anyway, and so I grab my blueberry pop tart (burning my fingers) place it in a paper towel and storm out of the house.  By now, I've missed the bus and I have to walk all the way to school, stewing in my anger, frustration and yes, all that built-up teenage-girl angst.  
But it's a beautiful day.  And try as I may, I just can't hold on to my rage.  Plus, it's spring time.  The apple blossoms are in bloom.  White petals floating into the perfumed breeze.  And yes, there's all that sunshine.  
Okay, so maybe, it did make me a little high. 
Maybe, Papa Callan was right.  Sunshine can make you high.  
And, in the words of John Denver it can also make you happy and make you cry.
It can also make you think and dream and write and paint and dance and sing and laugh.
Creative friends, your assignment for this week is very simple--get out in the sunshine.
That's it. 

Oh, and also--have fun.


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