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AQUARIUS RISING

BOOK II: THE GARDEN


TROUBLES IN PARADISE

 

1976 finds four members of the original commune, namely Barbara, Frank, Mary, and Paul, homesteading thirty acres in the beautiful Arkansas Ozark Mountains. So that Mary, now a midwife, can help deliver their son, Helen and Capo arrive for an extended visit, thus reuniting the group.

Ever the mystic, Frank is now immersed in a local political struggle against the aerial spraying of defoliants on the Ozark hardwood forest. Barbara, now married to Frank, has earned her associate's degree, and is eager to move back to any city where she might complete her work for a bachelor's. Having struggled for years, Paul is on the verge of waxing professional: he has just about climbed out of the deep hole he dug himself into during their wild days in California. Mary divides her time between supporting her family through nursing, caring for her fledgling midwifery practice, and mothering her and Paul's daughter, Elizabeth. Cured finally of her injury from the long-ago student riot, Helen is again involved, working for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment: her chief concern for the moment, of course, is the impending birth of Kevin. And the incorrigible Capo is still making both music and women.

It is a good thing that the magic and strength of their original association return quickly to them, because these, too, are pivotal times and the challenges they face are life-altering. In addition to the questions of interpersonal relationships, political action, and the search for truth and self, there now arise even weightier ones regarding ecology, health, and theology.

 


 

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