Bohemian, Free Spirit, Flower Child

Bohemian: A person with artistic or literary interests who disregards conventional standards of behavior. (And then some not so nice things.)

Free Spirit: a person with a highly individual or unique attitude, lifestyle, or imagination; nonconformist.

Flower Child: rejecting conventional society and advocating love, peace, and simple, idealistic values.

Over the last several years as our daughter Emily has been living in Portland, OR, I’ve been watching her grow into a lovely young lady. She has always had her own mind about things, was never one to conform with what everyone in school was doing, was always “set apart”. As she matures, it is very interesting to see where her interests and focus lay, and to see how they have changed as she has…and to see how in other ways she is very constant and unchanging.

She is someone with a style all of her own, (just like everyone else in Portland!) She ranges from a very professional look for when she’s working in the classroom, to a more, well, what I would consider a more “Bohemian” look. A modern day hippie, maybe, but with showers and high morals. :)

I love the word “Bohemian”, but when I looked up it’s actual definition, I really don’t think it really defines her…She is much more of a flower child or a free spirit. I love the definition above of a flower child, I think it suits her, although she might not agree. But Love and Peace and Simplicity ARE important to her. And she and Luke are also unique, creative, imaginative and somewhat non-conformists.

No, She and Luke don’t live in a commune (yet?)… but we do sit on cushions on their floor in front of their legless dining table, and move aside the beautiful gong–their most prized wedding present–to make room for the vegetarian fare they are about to serve us. I can trust that any food on the table has been purchased from a free trade store, and she will look absolutely beautiful serving it in clothing carefully picked from any number of thrift stores in the area.

Am I being critical?? Not at all. This really COULD be the generation that changes things for the better. I’m incredibly proud of them and what they are doing and the choices they are making.

Emily and her husband Luke have been living in Portland, Oregon attending college there for the past 4 years.  If you don’t know Portland, it’s a very interesting city!  

Eric M. Steen in his blog describes it as “Portland, known as the microbrew mecca of the planet, the bike-friendliest city in the US, and potentially the greenest city in the nation”.  Jeff Miller of Travel Portland calls it “environmentally conscious, outdoorsy, independent, creative, friendly and unfiltered”. Maybe it can be summed up in the commonly seen bumper sticker “Keep Portland Weird.”

We experienced just a taste of that the first weekend in May when we were in Portland for their college graduation. We celebrated Luke’s brother Chad’s birthday in Laurelhurst Park with the entire Martin clan and then some. While the “boys” were playing on the “slack line”, one of the Portland “weird” came along. Out going for a lovely stroll this beautiful spring day was someone dressed in flowing pants and a beautiful gold lame’ type jacket, with what looked like an Asian paper parasol. Okay, not so weird I guess. Until you add the part that he, yes he,  is on stilts 2-3′ tall, and he had such intriguing makeup to go with the…well, I guess it was like a mardi gras mask, with teal feathers…on one side of his face, and it appeared to be glued on. It actually was a bit fascinating for this “hick from the sticks”! He made me think of a butterfly, sort of. He was very graceful…and very Portland.

Portland is a place where anything goes…there are some pretty liberal ideas there! But it’s a beautiful place when you catch it on a sunny day, and it seems to suit them well.

It’s hard to believe that Emily and Luke will celebrate their first wedding anniversary next week. It hardly seems possible–I still haven’t made them their wedding quilt, a year surely hasn’t passed this quickly! I will have to share another time about Emily and this wonderful young man she married. (And, of course, about Josh and his beautiful wife Sarah!)

Two weeks ago they graduated from Cascade Christian College, both of them Summa Cum Laude. It was a great day. Here is a very short clip of her getting her diploma. I’m so sorry Brian didn’t have the camera ready to catch Luke getting his diploma.

I was particularly moved by Emily’s choice to have her brother, Josh, be her escort for graduation. I made it through two weddings without crying, but seeing them walking down that aisle together got me. Those two were the best of friends, and worst of enemies growing up. No, really, they were just best of friends, and tormentors of each other. ;) When it came down to it, they would have done anything for the other. What a blessing for a parent to have children who love each other so deeply.

Wow, it’s getting late, and I’m getting too sentimental. I hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow. Remember, God is Good!

About shannonhicks

I'm a professional longarm quilter and designer/digitizer for designs for computerized quilting systems. We are dealers for IntelliQuilter, and I teach longarm and AutoSketch classes in my studio in Washington State. I'm married to a wonderful man and have two great kids, married to incredible spouses--what more could a person want!

Posted on May 14, 2009, in Family, Quilting and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Found your blog through MPQ. I was born and raised in Portland (gone for 50 years) and everything you said was true even then. And, I am still a Flower Child with a true sense of planet preservation. Oregon is the most wonderful place in the world and was a great place to learn my values. You couldn’t have your daughter in a better place.

    • Gari, I’m so glad you stopped by! I was born and raised in central Washington, and admit that I love the Portland area. When we took Em down to look at colleges, I wanted to come down with her! (THAT would have cramped her style a bit now, wouldn’t it!)
      Portland is a lovely city, quirky, but I understand why she loves it there. She has certainly stretched and grown beyond her experiences growing up in a town of 560 people! We tried to expose her to more of the “outside world”, but it really took this experience to really move it all to a heart level.
      She and her husband are working in Ketchikan for the summer at Alaska Canopy Adventure, another beautiful place on our planet!
      I will add to the blog as time permits about their semester abroad through the Pacific Rim…which really opened their eyes to the world beyond our borders.
      Thanks again for dropping by and especially for leaving a note! I hope to add more quilty stuff soon. ;) Have a blessed day!

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