When I was a kid, my mom had us listening to Hoyt Axton’s My Griffin is Gone. To this day, I play his music, sing out loud, and own some of the good of my, amongst other things, ‘child of the 60s and of hippies’ childhood.

It pretty much was a drug-induced album. It pretty much was a drug-induced childhood (not for me, and not after we joined the cult, but that’s another story). My parents, again, were hippies. It was, again, the 60s. Danny (my dad) had my brother smoking pot when my brother was ten. Danny, apparently, thought it would be cool. When my mom heard the idea, she apparently thought, “Well, I get high. Why shouldn’t he? How can I say no?” I remember my parents taking us to see Woodstock. (The movie. Danny had tickets to the actual Woodstock but sat with friends in a store in Greenwich Village saying, “Eh, probably no one will go.”) I remember thinking, “this must be what it’s like to be high,” as I watched the movie.

Anyway, there is a song on the album titled, “It’s All Right Now.” At least I think that’s the title. Either way, it’s been going through my head.

It goes,

Sunshine and laughter and all good things. Look out why the angel sings. Must be an angel who’s saying, ‘It’s all right now. Take it easy. Don’t you worry. It’s all right now…’”

Either way, it’s been going through my head.

It’s been going through my head with good memories, which are even more appreciated these days. And it’s been going through my head with deepened understanding of maybe why it resonated so much with me back then. I did have my mantra, which I used in extreme times. (Like when I was lost alone in Greenwich Village, when my brother left me at a red light, when I was about seven or so, and I finally found my way to the Broome Street Bar, where Danny was bartending, but it wasn’t Danny behind the bar, it was a stranger with a bald head…but that’s another story too.)

Anyway, my mantra…

“Everything’s all right tonight. Everything’s okay today.”

This is still something I may repeat to myself, albeit not as frantically and not in as much fear and pain. Now it mostly makes me smile and put my hand on my heart for the little kid I was who was in so much fear and pain.

But today I have – I find and I create – much sunshine and laughter and all good things. I find it in my yellow birds and in my cardinals, when the yellow birds are gone for the season. (In fact, today I told my older kid that I’d seen a red-headed woodpecker, and my kid asked, “Do they have meaning too, or are they just pretty birds?”) I find it in the people I love and the trees against the sky and a good cup of tea.

Today I hold to sunshine and laughter and all good things, and I offer these to you as well.

May each day, and may the New Year, bring you much sunshine and laughter and all good things.

And when it doesn’t, may you go out and find it or create it – in your heart and in your life.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Photo by Alyssa Sieb on nappy

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