Aging Hippies: Spring Fever

By Amy Martin
February 25, 2015

Are you an aging tree-hugging hippie? If true, spring equinox is our day. My hippie roots run deep. It was 1969 and the flower children of Dallas were abloom. So were racial conflicts and heated arguments about the Vietnam War. After narrowly escaping a melee in the girl’s bathroom, with factions debating their fine points by hair pulling and jabs with lit cigarettes, I pled with my parents to be placed in a private school.I ended up in American Heritage, a private alternative high school that convened wherever the principal could find donated or cheap space. For our last semester, we gathered in a defunct kindergarten in North Dallas. They never changed the furniture or decor. It was like attending school in Alice’s Wonderland.

Nature was my church then, the way it was to my grandmother. “Just sit still and watch,” she’d say on those summer nights we parked on a country road at dusk, waiting for deer to emerge. “Things will be revealed.” So that spring equinox, contrary to my timid nature, I worked up my Aquarian moral courage and marched into my teacher’s office, which at least had full-sized furniture. I stated that because of my religious principles I’d be spending the day in the White Rock Creek woods.

spring_forestAt that moment, we could hear other teachers beating on the bathroom room where a student had locked himself in and was threatening suicide. The scent of marijuana wafted in from the courtyard. She looked past her towering stack of papers to be graded and with a wry smile replied: “Have a good time, dear.” My righteous battle deflated, I grabbed my dog Jasmine and sauntered down to the woods.

There I spread my blanket and settled in for the day. No student drama, no arguments with siblings, no talk of the Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. murders. The trees spoke to me of the roots’ dark nurturing soil and the limbs’ embrace of divine infinite light. The fractal patterns of the branches spread into the diversity of the leaves. And it all came together as one in the trunk, where the strength of trees, the strength of life, resides.

Celebrate by partaking of a spring celebration near you. Dallas Blooms at Dallas Arboretum is always a good choice. Many farmers markets open for the year with festivities on spring equinox. Dogwood Canyon in southwest Dallas, Trinity River Audubon in southeast Dallas, River Legacy in Arlington and Bob Jones in Coppell are among the many nature centers hosting a myriad of ways to enjoy spring.


Amy Martin was top hippie in Dallas for 20 years with her acclaimed SolstiCelebration gatherings and Moonlady News service. A journalist of 30 years, she is currently comedy critic for TheaterJones, North Texas Wild columnist for GreenSource DFW, and Texas Faith panelist at the Dallas Morning News.


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