But I believe his theorizing to be accurate because it matches my experience of life: while there is a mostly-linear continuum of events, there are also moments of transcendent presence, and there are the cycles, large and small, in which a turn of the spiral takes us back along a path in many ways familiar, but new. This cycling is a way of gauging one's progress (or lack of it) in life.
As it turns out, and as one might have suspected, hippies have just found niches in off-the-beaten-track communities, where the cooperative spirit that animated this counterculture still thrives. Gardner, Colorado is one such place. Hippie Days isn't on the internet, but it is on the grapevine. And so we found out about it, months ago, and by some luck figured out when it was scheduled. We came down from Denver with optimism, copies of Karmafornia to hawk, and a 1970's era book about alternative communities, titled Shelter.
The music was great: Middle Eastern, with belly dancing; a Grateful Dead tribute band; Cajun, with zydeco fun; and the guy in the green head-wrap is the impresario & drummer of the band Planet O which rocked the place with rock'n'roll, reggae and funk with his band: sax, trumpet, keyboards, vocals, lead guitar & bass.
The festival rule was No Bad Vibes, and we encountered none. People of all descriptions, from gray and arthritic 60's flower children to toddlers, vaqueros to bikers, and even the cops, were having a fine time. The teenagers especially gave me hope for the future: these young-uns were cheery, dressing each with his or her personal flair without fear of the Style Police whose insistence on conformity is surely a major contributor to the typically dour & sour teenage state of mind.
Fred and Marigold's big cycle tapped us back into the tribe, with a smile.