Children of the Children
Dreams of peace, love, freedom, and equality filled my
mind and heart as I was growing up. My parents had been
very much involved in what went on in the 60s Movement,
but when I was still young, the heart of that generation
died out. Except it lived on in my parents, some others
like them, and our record player. I spent most of my life
living in and visiting communities that were trying to live
a life similar to what I dreamed of and what was being striven
for during the 60s. In about 1974 we lived in the Needmore
Community near Bloomington, Indiana. About seven years later
my dad bought some land from the Needmore people and began
to start an egalitarian community of his own called Chrysalis.
It was listed in the Federation of Egalitarian Communities.
In my early and middle teenage years, I visited the Twin
Oaks Community in Virginia and spent a summer in the Dandelion
Community near Kingston, Ontario.
We were dairy goat farmers. My parents were into self-sufficiency.
We lived a good portion of our life without running water
and electricity in hopes of finding a more natural way
getting these things. For some time we lived way back in
the woods on part of what was an 800-acre community. In
the late '60s to early '70s it was thriving with dedicated
homesteaders and hippies. Craft and music festivals were
happening all the time. However, as I got older, I began
to discover that all these dreams of 'getting back to the
land' had evolved into one thing. Even though there was
a lot of talk of a better way, all I really saw around
was a lot of partying, drugs, booze, and sex, a lot of
and hidden motives and feelings. I was trained that 'whatever
feels good to you, do it.' I was the fruit of the 60s generation.
The community we lived in was an open community. The expression
'free love' was a way of life in which my parents raised
me. Everyone was very 'open-minded' about such things and
having sexual relations with many people was considered
to be the pathway to freedom from the religious and moral
restraints that had made the system such a cold and heartless
But instead of setting my parents and their friends free, it
caused them to have deep-seated mistrust for one another
while promoting strife and jealousy between community members
who were always trying to be the most together, liberated
people. All this caused the adults to be extremely insecure,
and of course all these things were passed right into us
the children of the children of the 60s.
My parents were also very involved in the anti-nuke movement,
and I joined in and gave all my heart, my heart full of
bitterness, to fight the system. But still I was part of
and a product of that system, and there seemed to be no
real way out of it. All my protests never really helped
a thing. Things just kept getting worse. Sure, I got a lot
of good feelings and high hopes of change, but in the end,
I personally was always left feeling lonely with no peace,
love, freedom, or lasting happiness. I had friends, and
some of them even felt the same way I did, but I could never
find any true unity between us. We had hopes and dreams,
but they never did anything for us. We were, or at least
I was, left in desperation, turning to the music, drugs,
and other things the kids my age were into.
Peace? Peace only seemed to come when we
were stoned or fantasizing. But fantasy is only a product of a
lack of peace. It is an escape from reality. The thing is, after
it is over you only come back to reality. Getting stoned you can
sit in a room with people and feel in love with them all. You
seem to be at peace; maybe youll fall off to sleep feeling
good. But when you come down from your high, you are back to reality.
Where is the peace? Its time to roll up another joint to
escape reality. So where is the peace? I never found true peace
there. If it were true, it would have lasted.
Love? What is love, really? Is it going
to bed with almost anyone? Is love what you do in bed? Or do they
just do that because it feels good? Something always seemed wrong
to me that they would just jump into bed with almost anyone. But
still I was encouraged to do the same, being just barely
a teenager. My parents would say, "Get birth control! Dont
get pregnant! We have too many children now; we cant have
Is love what you see on TV, or in the movies? Is
love holding your true feelings inside so as not to hurt anyone?
What is love, anyway? I longed to know what true love was,
but I didnt find it there.
Freedom? Is freedom just another word for nothing left to lose?
Was Janis Joplin right? This seemed to be what we thought.
But oh, how wrong we were! I can still remember our music
and crafts festivals. We would have puppet shows, bands
would play, people would paint faces, my parents would sometimes
set up a drinks stand. People would bring their blankets
and lay around listening to the music, drinking and taking
drugs. The children would skinny dip in the large creek
at the back of the field. At night the party would go on
and on. We would build big bonfires and people would sleep
out. Yes, I can remember in the day by the light of the
sun, running through the field to the music, naked or at
least half naked. I felt so free. I was free to do whatever
felt good, and I was only four years old.
A lot of times people would come over and we would
get stoned and jam. If you didnt have an instrument, youd
find one, grab a pot or beat the table with your hands. I can
remember one time doing this for awhile on the night of a full
moon. After getting very drunk and stoned, we took our instruments
and danced, sang, and made noises. All in a line we did an Indian
pow-wow and moon dance by the light of the moon. We danced through
the woods and down to the lake to take a late night dip. Freedom?
Was this freedom? We werent seeking freedom. We were seeking
pleasure! The reality was that we werent really free, but
enslaved to our sinful, self-centered ways.
Equality? We thought if we could all be
equal, then we could be happy. So someone made by-laws and one
of them was: "There should be no differences between sexes,
creed, color or age..." but this led to many problems in
terms of equality between sexes and equality between ages. Another
time in a community that was trying to get started, there were
only three members, one man and two women. The man had violated
some of the by-laws, so the two women kicked him out (they happened
to be his wife and daughter).
They wanted everyone to be equal so there was to be no
'coupling off'. This meant that if you were married when
you came in, you must not be possessive of your wife or
husband, but you must share him or her. This would also
keep people from spending most of their time with just one
person, but their time would be shared among the community.
Somehow there was always a tendency to couple off, though.
It must be because it is normal for a man and a woman to
be committed to each other.
They also believed that parents of children should not
be called mom or dad or anything like this they should
be called by their first name because they were to be just
friends, no one superior or inferior. That way every adult
would be equal; no one would be parents and others not parents,
but they would share the children. In some of the communities
the children had a childrens building away from the
others where they would spend most of their time with metas
(people trained by the community to be with the children;
they would have the mind of the community in child raising).
At supper time they would go to be with one of their primaries.
Each child had two or three primaries. They would take turns
taking the child from supper time to bedtime.
Both my mother and my sisters were fairly active
in the ERA and feminist movements. It seemed like they had a general
disgust towards men, except in one vital area. I was following
right along the same path, but wasnt old or scarred enough
to understand why they felt this way. Besides, I had another thing
going. At ten, I became more involved in fantasy. I would go off
by myself into the woods and dream of a better life, of restoration
of the creation around me. I would dream that the animals could
live in peace. I would have dreamed of unity between human beings,
but I was losing all hope for mankind. I despised the worlds
system, and I thought that human beings had everything to do with
it. It was all so corrupt.
Religions never interested me. I thought they were
unreal, another perverted creation of man. Any exploring of them
just increased that thought. But at fourteen, I fell in love and
married a man who was very interested in the Bible. Searching
and searching through Christianity and other things, all we found
was hypocrisy. Yet, the words of the Bible contained so much hope.
So we and a few other people grouped together to try our best
to live out these words. But trying to live the life shown in
the Bible without a true community of the Spirit is impossible.
So there I was again in desperation.
But the true God of heaven knew our hearts and he
led us into his dwelling place, his Community. When I first came,
it was like I was in a dream. I saw people living together in
unity. They had peace, love, freedom, and happiness, and it was
real and unending. But I wasnt dreaming; it was real! I
never would have believed it unless I had seen it with my own
eyes. All I knew was that I wanted the same life they had, and
now I have it. I am thankful.
It was obvious that there was no restoration in
my parents and the others who tried to live together. They couldnt
get along with one another. They were always dividing from one
another, getting offended, and leaving the community. Also, every
personal relationship didnt make it. We just couldnt
be restored to one another. We couldnt forgive one another
because we werent yet forgiven.
My hope includes the restoration of all things, for this is the
very heart of my Creator. We no longer are a part of the
world and its system, but we have come out of it. We no
longer have to worry about providing for our own independent
nuclear family because all is provided as we learn to give
ourselves every day to the will of our Creator. This demonstration
that is being raised up on the earth will someday bring
about the end of this age, the beginning of the New Age,
the return of our Master Yahshua,
and the restoration of all things.