“Footloose and Fancy Free”
As it turns out, the terms used in my title are rooted in time centuries older than my husband and I seemed to think they would be. We thought each had its origin in something from the recent past, say the 1960’s/70’s. And, we were partly correct in that Rod Stewart had a song out by that name in 1977. But, according to Dictionary.com, the words “foot loose” literally meant unshackled feet back in the 1700’s, and in the 1600’s “fancy free” alluded to not being in love with a member of the opposite sex at a given time in one’s life. Interesting, isn’t it?!
When I think of the word ‘Carefree’, numerous things come to mind, including the above-mentioned phrases given their modern-day association to living life without a care or worry. Of course, most of us living in North America can probably conjure up memories of childhood times when worries were likely less and simple things brought us pleasure (i.e. running through the sprinkler, building a snowman, licking a freshly scooped ice cream cone, etc.). What about as adults, though? The ‘busy-ness’ of life seems to be demanding more and more of our leisure time, as do our devices, leaving us with fewer and fewer opportunities to be disconnected from schedules and from feeling more connected with each other. Now, if you live in a country or a place in the world which is more impoverished, ‘carefree’ could mean having enough food to eat, a roof over your head and/or clothing on your body for the time being, at least. That thought alone should get the rest of us realizing how fortunate we are to even consider anything other than meeting one’s basic needs. Many of us, including myself, automatically assume we are talking about freedoms from everyday life and responsibilities, but that is not the case for others. How lucky we should be to entertain the idea of ‘wants’ vs. needs.
Initially, my intention was to post a sunset picture from our recent Hawaiian holiday or something similar and list off all of those mental images that one commonly describes when thinking of ‘carefree’ times. You know…watching white, puffy clouds float on by against the clear blue sky, feeling a cool breeze whip through your long locks on a warm sunny day, travelling the open roads on the back of a Harley Davidson, running through a grassy meadow feeling exhilarated and exhausted all at the same time as you fall to your knees between the clean, green, fresh smelling blades…which I guess I just gave examples of anyway, but somehow at this juncture, it just doesn’t seem to right to include a picture of such a privileged notion when thinking about those who cannot freely indulge.
So, maybe today’s post is simply about being thankful that the word ‘carefree’ even exists in our part of the world and that we have the ability to interpret it in such an open fashion. Yes, I think I will leave it here, as my husband and I literally approach the grand mountain range of the Canadian Rockies and relish the chance to, once again, take in its natural beauty. Blessings!