I was a child of the 70’s and I grew up listening to Marlo Thomas and Friends album Free to Be You and Me with its hot pink cover and playlist of songs about female empowerment, social equality, emotional intelligence and justice of all. I could recite so many songs from that album to this day; one of my favorites that I’ve sung to my kids over the years is Rosy Grier’s “It’s Alright to Cry“
From “It’s Alright to Cry”:“It’s alright to cry, crying gets the sad out of you. Raindrops from you eyes, washing all the mad out of you. Raindrops from your eyes; it’s gonna make you feel better. It’s alright to feel things, though the feelings may be strange. Feelings are such real things and they change and change and change…”
Maybe this song explains my big-feeling, gushy, vulnerable, empathic heart. Years later, I found a copy of Free to be You and Me on cassette tape and bought it for myself to accompany me on road trips between college and home. This morning I downloaded a digital copy of the album for my upcoming road trip to Montana. Looking at the title of the tracks from this influential childhood album (Boy Meets Girl, When We Grow Up, Don’t Dress Your Cat in a Apron, Parents are People, Ladies First, Sister and Brothers, Housework–narrated by the iconic voice of Carol Channing–, William’s Doll and Atalanta to name a few favorites) explains a lot about the optimistic, loving, free spirit that I’ve grown up to be.
Today as I write this, it’s the Fourth of July 2022, just one week after the Supreme Court made the heart-wrenching decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Women’s rights to make choices for their bodies took a 50-year set-back. My heart is sad and scared this fourth of July for the trajectory that our country’s decision makers are setting us on. I’m also confused because I love my country so profoundly; I was raised by a Father who served in the military and by a Mother who patriotically bleeds red, white and blue. I’m grateful for my civil liberties and running tap water right out of the faucet and high speed internet and freedom of speech. And there’s also a 10-year old girl inside of me who is trying to make sense of the world and of the freedoms that were here one week ago, but gone today. She’s trying to understand how we’re loving and respecting one another and honoring autonomy over choices, such as abortion and vaccination.
The Age of Aquarius
Whenever I find myself afraid for the liberties that are being stripped from my children’s generation, I remind myself that I have raised three kick-ass kids and teach hundreds of other young light workers who have been woken up by the bullshit that generations passed have passively ignored. While we slept through the Piscean Age in our comfortable arm chairs and Bose headphones and Netflix, the earth started to heat up literally and figuratively. This new generation IS the Age of Aquarius. They will speak their truth, raise their pride flags, lead peaceful protests, make their voices be heard. They will let the sunshine in.
This fourth of July I am sad but hopeful.
From the Title track Free to be You and Me“There’s a land that I see where the children are free, and I say it aint’ far to this land from where we are. Take my hand, come with me, where the children are free. Come with me, take my hand, and we’ll live in a land where the river runs free, in a land through a green country, In a land to a shining sea, and you and me are free to be you and me.” -The New Seekers
However you choose to celebrate, mourn, laugh, cry, connect this Fourth of July, may you take a moment to give pause. Place your hands over your beating heart. Close your eyes. Envision the world you’d like to live in. Imagine what a difference we could make if we all chose to love, listen, help and encourage one another. That’s the world I see. Want to come with me to this land where we are free to be you and me?