Free spirits should be embraced

Have you ever known an actual, live, free spirit? I know a few in the human realm, and several in the animal world.

My favorite human free spirit is a female, who has followed her own drum since childhood. She didn’t buy into many of the protocols most people take for granted. For example, her house being a mess didn’t bother her a bit. She just made her way among the scattered items.

When her gas was disconnected (shutting off her cookstove) because she felt the charges were too high, she “managed.”

She still had electricity, preferred her beef steak rare, and happened to own two irons for her clothes. So at supper time she held a steak up sideways, placed an iron on each side and sizzled it to the desired doneness.

The vegetables were cooked in a little electric roaster. It all worked fine.

She didn’t worry about fashion for her clothes, but since she was quite attractive when she decided to be, her clothes tended toward the “revealing.” She laughingly told me she once was asked to leave a nightclub because she was wearing a “short shirt.” I have no idea how short.

Her horses are free spirits, as well. One, when you visit his stall, hangs his tongue out for you to hold — so she obliges him. They are race horses, and a few riders have refused to exercise one of them because he’s — to put it mildly — ornery. He gets along with his mistress, though. She visits the health food stores for both herself and her horses.

I know a free-spirit guy, also. He’s a musician/songwriter and he pays no attention to whether or not his songs might be “hits.” He simply writes and sings songs he, personally, likes. My favorite is called, “It Must Have Been Something I Said,” the story about a sort-of girl friend dumping him and his guitar out of her pickup at a rest area far from town. He — and his audiences — always get a laugh out of that one.

He falls in love — often, but if the lady tries to tie him down, he’s gone.

I knew a free-spirit dog once. He was half German Shepherd, and never wore a collar or leash for more than 10 minutes. They came off. This dog’s name was Dog, and he, though freedom loving, was devoted to his mistress. The two of them made a formidable barrier against any person or animal with questionable intentions.

I’ve been thinking about this. Cowboys, of course, are the personification of free spirits. We have others: truck drivers, cattle traders, barrel racers, fishermen, fence builders, poets.

We can thank the free spirits among us for many of our freedoms, because they simply don’t give their freedoms up. They don’t care a whit about security, and if they spill their coffee in their laps they figure it was their own fault and get on with their lives.

Wouldn’t it be something if we Americans suddenly found that free spirit that’s gotten shoved under our beds?