I used to believe that I had forgotten all but a few childhood memories. That is all so long ago and far away in my mind. When I was first pregnant, I found myself flashing back to old memories based on things I smelled. Sure enough, I learned that women have a keener sense of smell than men and it is enhanced during pregnancy…of course, this has the obvious downside when whiffing nauseating smells, but it also reminded me of my high school perfume, eating cinnamon toast as a little girl, and other happy memories.
Nowadays, it’s not so much my sense of smell that reminds me of days gone by; it’s the process of writing this blog that usually brings on a forgotten memory. In this case, it was discovering a new blogger, FiftyFourAndAHalf, and reading her recent post, Desperado. SLAM! I was 12 years old again, sitting on a blanket on the lawn at The Blossom Music Center listening to this very song. Although the song was written by the Eagles, and they have a fine version of it that I also enjoy, it was hearing it sung by a woman with such a beautiful, haunting voice that made it stick with me.
I remember that I begged my parents to take me to this concert, my very first, and was shocked when they agreed. It was likely their first “rock” concert too. Although my parents were the right age to have participated in all the shenanigans of the Sixties, they had not; they married in late 1958 and had their first baby early in 1960. They rode out the Sixties as young newlyweds and new parents, with my younger sister and I coming along a few years later.
So, it was odd when my mom looked around sniffing curiously and asked me if that smell wafting around was pot. Frankly, I had no idea until the moment she said it, but from that moment on, I also knew the smell. Curious, I looked around and soon spotted the closest culprit, a couple leaning back against a tree carefully sharing a roach and a lighter. Later, after it was dark, this same couple was getting a bit rowdy under some blankets…I’m sure my father was regretting this whole venture right about then! Me? I was soaking up the music and the stars and having the time of my young life.
At the end, there were lighters held aloft all over the hill like a field of stars twinkling close to earth. Cheering and clapping, lighters waving, the crowd urged the singer back to the stage for the encores. We slipped out about then, my dad anxious to get out before the crowds trapped us in gridlock on the meadow that served as a parking lot. I floated along trying to capture the last notes and savor the evening for as long as possible.
A few days later, when school started back up, I got my small moment of admiration when I told my, “what did you do this summer” story of going to the Linda Ronstadt concert. Most of my classmates had never been to a concert. But, my bubble was burst a moment later when someone asked me who I went with, then topped that by stating they’d gone to a concert with their older siblings. I was trumped…parents were not cool as dates to rock concerts, but college-aged siblings were.
Having recaptured the memories of that concert, I will treasure them and remember the lesson I learned all those years ago: don’t let someone else tell you what is joyful or important.
Find the Joy in the Journey…and revel in it!