I recently had the privilege of watching the documentary Back to the Garden, Flower Power Comes Full Circle. Having given the trailer a cursory look, I thought it must be some sort of 60s hippie documentary. Once you start watching you realize you’re watching 1988, in Washington State.
Kevin Tomlinson videotaped a community of hippies in 1988 and after almost 20 years went back to see what they were up to. The most beautiful and powerful thing to witness was how happy all these people were. They were living off the grid in the truest sense. They had been growing their vegetables and their chickens and had raised their children in the meantime, who seem to have grown up as confident and loving adults.
As you watch the documentary, you become aware of a ceaseless and awestruck smile that has taken over your face. You cannot believe such people exist. There is no youtube, there is no iPhone, only blueberries and pink banana squashes and acres of open space and agro-forestry and permaculture and recently introduced solar panels. People live without paying rent, feel the earth by walking barefeet and raise children using cloth diapers. It’s about a place that beckons the soul. As you watch, you have a strong urge to shut off your computer, to sell your belongings and plan a ride. You want to leave the world you know, so you can become one with the earth.
I may sound a little melodramatic, but it’s only because you still haven’t watched the film. By the end of the documentary, the director himself abandons his life in the suburbs, and decides to live off the grid with his wife.
This truly is an exceptional little documentary about a community of beautiful souls that gives you hope for mankind. The documentary will be airing on PBS stations nationwide in the beginning of April, 2012. Catch it you must.
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