Free, Free, how wonderful it would be, without the pollution, without the war, I wish we could stop it and have no more, just be free in this land, that’s what I call a helping hand.
That was my first poem that I wrote in the early 70s, when I was around 11 years old.
How true those words were then, and how true they still are 40 years later.
I remember lying on the top bunk of my bed, in a room that I shared with three other sisters and a brother, staring at a poster of a girl, arms stretched out, flying so peacefully, with just the word “Free” on the poster.
That poster spoke to my very young soul. As the words to my first poem filled my mind, I knew that I had to get them written down on paper. I felt comfort in that picture, I felt envy for that girl being able to fly so high, and so freely above all of the chaos of what was going on in our world at that time.
The Vietnam War was a different war than the war being fought in the
today, but still a war with many Americans proudly, selflessly, and bravely
serving their country.
Back then, I do not think that I fully understood the Vietnam War, but I was aware of it. I was aware as I saw my mothers concern for her second eldest son, serving there, and I was aware, with my sister and sister in laws concern for their husbands’ safe return.
My family was lucky, my brother served in
cook, and my brother in law, as a medic, so they did not have to see the combat
horrors that so many others did. They both came home safely, and from then on,
no others in my very large family of 11 children, ever had to serve in another
Pollution was another big concern back then as we proudly displayed our green and white ecology flag stickers, next to our American flag stickers on our homes and cars urging all to stop polluting our country.
Flash forward to 2012, pollution still a big concern, and we all talk of “going green” to help with the pollution of today.
When looking back to the concerns of the late 60s and early 70s, and compare to the concerns of today’s generation, I wonder if we have learned anything at all.
I know that every generation has its own set of disasters, successes, and evolutions. I also feel that every generation thinks that their generation is the first to experience any of these things, and that their situations are the first or completely different then their ancestor’s situations.
They seem to be certain that the event that is currently taking place is the absolute sign that the world as we know it is about to come to an end.
The truth is though that most of the situations or issues have been around since the beginning of time, just dressed in current day clothing.
I remember when Pope Paul VI died in 1978, and I was 17, the word back then was if a certain nationality of pope would replace him that this was the sign of the end of the world.
I was not ready to die! I was just starting to live! I had a boyfriend, and wanted to get married, have kids, grow old, and have grandchildren!
I went crying to my mother for words of comfort.
She calmly told me not to worry, that I was going to live a full life, be a wife, mother and grandmother.
She went on to tell me how when she was young, an event in her time had triggered her fear of the same thing, and she went crying to her mother, who gave her the same advice that she had just given to me. The same advice that my great grandmother, had given my grandmother, when she went to her with the same fear of her generation.
Recently, current events have caused fear and buzz of the same doom and ending of our world. This prompted my 24 year old daughter to come to me with not just fear of the world ending as we know it, but rather, changing so that only the enlightened will survive this upcoming “apocalypse”. I told her the story of my mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, and tried to reassure her that all generations have their interpretation of all of the books and documents out there pointing to the end of the world, and that so far, the world is still here.
She may have been comforted a little by my words, but as so many in the past have done, I think that she is certain that the past is not the same as today’s situation, and this really is the end.
This leads me right back to my prior statement that all generations think that their situations and discoveries are the first to occur since human kind started.
This discovery both comforts and disturbs me. It comforts me to reconfirm that our world is still here, despite the repeated Nostradamus and others predictions, and it disturbs me that we may not be evolving and improving our world very much as evidenced by the mistakes that we seem to keep repeating.
Free, free, how wonderful it would be……..
While we may never be able to be free of natural disasters and catastrophes, if we learn from our past mistakes, and refuse to repeat them, I feel that we can be free from human made disasters, wars, pollution, etc.
What do we do if this latest prediction really does signal the end, as we know it today?
We continue to live our lives, but we love more than ever before.
I truly feel that we need to take care of each other, the earth, and the animals in the best way that we can. We need to be kind to all three groups, giving as much as we can whether it is our time, or money, or both. God entrusted this to us, and it is our responsibility to take care of this magnificent gift with the time that we are given to live on this earth.
If we do this, then, and only then, we truly will be Free...