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Let the Sun Shine In

Updated on December 24, 2011


 I have 9 siblings.  Six of the older than I am.  I was born in the early 60's and grew up discovering myself in the 70's.  What a time it was.  I realize that I missed Woodstock and the true hippie movement.  However, as one knows, every 10-15 years, styles, sayings and fads come back to haunt us.  I loved the 70's era!  The disco, the disco balls, the flared bottom pants, platform shoes, fuzzy afros on everyone, the music, the tie dye styles and the Peace sign on almost everything you saw.  The movie Forest Gump is dear to my heart as it spends quite a bit of time in this time of history.  The t-shirts, the war (although, sadly, there is always a war going on), the running crazes and more; it brought my past back to me in living color.

My sisters were products of the feminist movement and the hippie craze.  One sister spouted equal rights like a vigilanty and the others donned their halter tops with no bra (we are all very busty women) which made my father spit tacks upon seeing them parading in public.  Bell bottom pants with lots of patches sewn on them were hip.  Using a CB and phrases like "ten four" and "the fuzz" were being spoken from lips around the USA.  Everyone flocked to the beauty parlor to get the "afro" look.  My black friends wore big pics in their hair and hip hugging pants with big belts and belt buckles.  Everyone seemed to like each other.  If a skirmish began to erupt, all someone had to do was say, "Peace Man!" and the fighting would stop.  At least in my proximity.

I remember a sticker my sister placed on the window of our room... "Let the Sun Shine In".  I still don't know what it meant...perhaps the beginnings of ecological sense?  Stopping the air polution that filled our lungs?  It was before catalytic converters were required on cars.  We saw, smelled and inhaled exhaust for years.  Maybe it meant to open our hearts and allow people to infiltrate our senses?  I don't know; I only aspired to be a better person and let the sun shine in my soul.

I ran a lot during this era.  Even though it hurt immensely.  My body hated running but everyone was doing it.  Jim Fixx was every one's hero.  Instead of sneakers, we had running shoes and I dated athletes who enjoyed running with me.  I rode my bike a lot too.  Not a ten speed but a regular, hard to pedal bike.  I was in great shape during this time.

I went to a Catholic school and a uniform was mandatory.  Therefore, I wore long, dangling earrings and unique scarves and necklaces to stand out.  I loved toe socks; the more colorful, the better.  I donned sandals and my toe socks so that I didn't look like the rest of the green and white girls.  I fixed my hair in different ways and made sure to say hi to everyone I met and relished that they always responded positively too.

I fell in love for the first time in the 70's and was written poetry and loved under the stars.  I felt like a free spirit.  The music seemed to express my feelings.  The community was safe, except for a few neighborhood bullies.  I knew my friends were having sex with their boyfriends but I didn't.  I loved the relationship that I had with my beau and it was pure romance and true, innocent love.  It ended in 1980, right after my favorite decade ended.

Now that I see items from the 70's returning, I have mixed feelings.  Some of the items I used to love now repulse me.  The striped, sweater shirts that used to flatter my physique only accentuate my middle aged body rolls.  The bell bottoms serve to make me look shorter.  I still love the music and relish those retro weekends on the radio.  I will always have my wonderful memories and I will always stop, rethink and relish the times that I let the sun shine in.


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