In Love With Hippies

I call myself a hippie.

I know that some people think that by definition one can’t be a hippie today, and they think I’m some sort of neo-copycat-wannabe.

Some people think that some trappings of hippie-ism, like dreadlocks, long flowy skirts, beaded jewelry, etc. are a fake, dishonorable copy of other cultures.

Others might think I’m not much of a hippie because I own a gun or don’t like pot or enjoy top 40 music too much or wear too much black.

These things don’t bother me. In my mind, I’m a hippie. Sometimes my values fit into other boxes as well, like feminist or burner or new ager. But my truth is that I…

…have dreadlocks, go braless, go barefoot, don’t wear makeup, don’t shave my legs or my armpits, rail against The Man, think about world peace, explore the chemical makeup of my mind, think a lot about my feelings and the feelings of others, write sappy songs about nature, give stuff away for free, don’t wear perfume, say you can tell how happy I am by how dirty my feet are, play in the rain, wear gauzy cotton skirts, play in the dirt, gave myself a name with a spiritual meaning, don’t look at weather predictions because whatever happens happens and I’m ready and I’ll love it, love waterfalls, love camping and hiking, compost everything I can, make my peace with “pest animals” instead of trying to kill them, reject the words “have to” and “should”, worry about who’s allowed to get married and who isn’t, don’t bathe all that often, didn’t finish college, think about gender roles, clean the house with baking soda, question whether it really matters if I vote or not, make beaded crafts, blow bubbles, meditate, swim naked, don’t use A/C in my home, scoff at the economy, am polyamorous, don’t own much clothing, like boyish long-haired guitar-playing men, love animals, don’t go to zoos, am not squeamish about icky things, play with spiders, use cloth instead of toilet paper/paper towels/napkins, use a menstrual cup, love laying in a hammock looking at the trees overhead, stop to watch butterflies every single time, sometimes think nothing in the world matters and sometimes think it’s all intimately, preciously, existentially crucial…

…because I’m a hippie. These things are little, and they’re huge, and they matter, and they’re me.

And sometimes it’s all completely superficial, too, and I’m really just thinking, “Who wouldn’t want to be these people?!”

You can see more of LIFE’s Woodstock photos here, then come back and tell me what you love about being a hippie or what you love about hippies.