“People dancing, people laughing. A man selling ice cream. Singing Italian songs. Everybody is another. Can you dig it (yes, I can). And I’ve been waiting such a long time…for Saturday.” Saturday in the Park, Chicago, 1973
Just thinking of the combination – the beautiful blend of the year, my age, a new bike. Freedom. Every bit of the memory shines and sings. 1973. A 12-year-old. And if music has the undeniable ability to transport us back in time, most every song from the 70’s is now a time machine back to my young heart and mind.
My mother was a very young minded gal. She brought music into our house like no other mother we ever knew of our friends. Three Dog Night. Elton John. Loggins and Messina. And Chicago. I can still see Gracie dancing a bit while vacuuming or singing along while folding clothes.
In happy times, we sang everywhere…sang along in the car, at home, at the beach. And somewhere in a deep root system we memorized every word of every song. Ask me to recite the lyrics and truthfully, I can’t. But add the music, the beat… and it’s immediate. Every word comes back and so does the scene, the outfit, the friends, the everything. Vividly and happily.
Fast forward 45 years. My new red bike. It’s been the best gift I can remember receiving in a long, long time. Because it’s part of the time machine. I never imagined that the pure feeling of childhood freedom could actually return. With each passing year we feel farther away from that simpler time.
Catching a bend in the road just right this afternoon, to allow for a long peddle-less coast, brought peace, hope and a striking sense of being free. Fearless. The wireless day transformed the park back to 1973. No route. No plan. No worries. And I was so incredibly happy all day long that it was Saturday.