Thursday, August 12, 2010
My Woodstock . . . and the Woodstock Nation
Years ago, I was walking through the countryside as the trees’ long shadows became overwhelmed by dusk. I spied a young couple and their friend leaving an old country house and they were carrying chairs. Then, they brought out a card table, a pitcher of lemonade, and their instruments: two guitars and a flute. She wore a long summer dress that caught the breeze. The friends chatted in low tones, chuckling after a bird called out to them. I watched as they set up in the front yard with only yellow lamplight from the house to see by. I edged closer and listened to them play their music, wishing I lived there too. I stayed there a long time, listening. I am still wistful about that.
The ideals responsible for the 1969 concert’s success as a peaceful statement and joyful expression have their roots in the shadow of Overlook, a mountain sacred to the Iroquois, just west of the Hudson River in upstate New York. The spirit that transcends place but is present there in abundance is a touchstone for many of us and we know who we are—we are the Woodstock Nation.