It's funny because i used to be a full out hippie in my late teenage years - tie dye shirts, transcendental dance, neoshamanism, healing crystals, psytrance music, solstice parties, drinking chai, eating dal, doing way too much LSD, the whole bit. Then i went the opposite direction to most people and got urbanized and into more mainstream culture and music.
It happened i think as part of my transition. In becoming a woman, i started hanging out more with urban gays (an unfortunate aspect of hippies is they tend to be fairly conservative on sexuality and gender issues). Then i felt like i had to be the perfect woman, which is to say like a high flying fashion model off the pages of Vogue. I also lost all my spirituality because obviously there is no Goddess or positive energy or any of that nonsense because how could there be and i still not be born a woman?
That was a phase, of course, but ultimately the damage was done and i became only peripherally a hippie, generally living a more conventional lifestyle. My mom remained far more new age than me, and every now and again - especially at festivals - i'd get a reminder of that scene i kinda left behind.
Anyway, N met me as a typical Russian migrant to Berlin, escaping the oppressive conditions back home, working in IT, techno fan, bla bla. He didn't have many contacts in Berlin yet so i virtually introduced him to some people on Facebook who could get him invites to more underground parties and festivals. By the time Brexit happened and i left Europe, he had gotten real deep into the ethnic/multikulti world music slow techno fusion sound that is popular in certain corners of the Berlin underground. He went to India and lived in a village on a mountain. He went to meditation retreats. He left the rat race behind and didn't look back.
Somehow he ended up in Canada at some new age commune thing, then COVID hit and he got "stuck" here doing seasonal work all year round. He's been working at the same vineyard for over a year now, and after spending most of his time in Canada living out of a van, he now lives in a basement apartment in a house in the middle of an orchard. My tent is pitched in his back yard.
This morning he made "ceremony grade" cacao and "full power" porridge with a bevy of nuts and fruits. I just nommed some "energy balls" he prepared for the day. Any of you who have hung out with hippies a lot will know this sort of terminology. Energy balls are like blended fruits and nuts and grains. Full power is Goa slang for... Full power! No toilet no shower! Maximum hippie energy! I can't explain it. Ceremony grade cacao is hot chocolate made some kind of ostensibly indigenous way, with raw/unprocessed cacao, and it's supposedly a mind altering substance or superfood. All i know is it was delicious, as was everything else.
I have no problem with hippie folks, despite the woo. I guess it's how some areligious people who came from religious backgrounds think about the church, not with a violent distrust or resentment, but a kind of fondness, a sense of familiarity, like it's a part of where they came from.
Tonight we will be grilling up some meat. I am taking a day off cycle touring because i have a shoulder/back ache. Strangely, my legs do not hurt, just my upper back, probably from hunching over the handlebars, or perhaps from pushing the bike a few times up that monster road out of Kelowna.
Anyway, it's a beautiful space to stop. The Similkameen is a clean, fast-flowing river, and it's cut an awesome valley through a Kamloopsian desert landscape. Unlike the 'loops, though, the valley is lush enough to support apples, nectarines, cherries, grapes... There are fruit stands everywhere. There is fruit lying on the side of the road that fell off the tree. It's like a little Garden of Eden. Awesome place to stop, awesome place to visit, and i would never have even known about it if N hadn't moved here.
Maybe it was, like, destiny or something. The collective unconscious. The Celestine Prophecy. Etc etc. Whatever it is, i'm really happy to be here, sitting in the sun, amidst the fruit and the gravel and the farmers and the hippies.
Picture post to come...
(Edit to unbury the lede: i bought flip-flops!)