Some people wear costumes to Hippy Hill, emphasizing the fact that here you can be who you are, or who you think you are. Top hats with stars on them are seen.
There was a girl in an incandescent green outfit with rhinestones, that made her look like a mermaid. There was a man dressed up like an elf or a gnome. The brimless red hat he wore had special meaning, though he probably didn’t know it. The red hat is a symbol of liberty, dating back to ancient slave revolts. They wore it during the French Revolution and it’s on our money. Lady Liberty either wears it or it’s on the end of her spear.
It was a big day for costumes because of a special bicycle event. Some were dressed as Pakman characters, and one as a cow and another as a horse. My favorite was the hippie girl costume. She wore a rainbow tie-dyed t-shirt with a peace sign, wire-rimmed glasses, and a headband around her long, loose hair. They all danced in the circle to the drums, making a strange sight.
Adrian was wearing a new tiara, a headband with cat ears all in rhinestones. The Native American beat out a marching rhythm on his snare drums on the stand, but it was of soldiers marching home, not to war. He was dressed beautifully in a jacket with geometric patterns, a black cowboy hat with rainbow feathers, and rainbow aviator glasses. The elaborate necklaces he wore included a polished piece of a large pink shell, a beaded picture of an Eskimo, and another pendant which I couldn’t tell if it was an elf, an angel or an eagle.
I talked to a drummer whose drumming made me see visions the day before. He said the cold weather was affecting the sound of the drums, making the skins too tight. He said that as a child in 1963 he’d ridden in a car with his grandmother in a New York Macy’s parade with John F. Kennedy. He said he’d also been in this same meadow in 1967 and throughout the Summer of Love.
I found out that Richard with the beautiful drum with cobalt strings, who bandages his hands to try to protect them from his constant obsessive drumming, is an amazing man. A successful writer with a website, he’s a political activist who found ways to feed a hundred thousand people for weeks during the Occupy demonstrations. He’s a community organizer with the ability to pull rabbits out of the hat and make great things happen.
He like the others closes his eyes and gets in the zone. Doctors have told him to stop drumming and stop smoking pot but he continues to do both, burning the candle at both ends and making a lovely light. He’s at the drum circle every week-end, both days, for five or six hours or more. During the week he often drums at another drum circle that’s near the Conservatory of Flowers. He has doctors for his arms, shoulders, neck and back, because of his drumming.
The afternoon went on as the drums played and the people danced around the chalk markings that said “Love” and “Peace.” Those who studied books and went to seminars mixed with respect with those that didn’t. A half a cake was found where someone had abandoned it on the grass on its cardboard base. It was rescued and brought to the circle just as a dog was about to tear into the white frosting. Everyone ate from the same plate. Someone said they never saw so many people fed with one piece of cake.