When I was in sixth grade, our school hired a new music teacher. While she may not have been equipped with the patience of an educator, she was inspired by the creativity of artists like Joni Mitchell and had lofty dreams of steering us away from 80s pop to 60s folk.
For our school’s ninth grade graduation that year, she chose a collection of songs that, while lyrically appropriate, were not the traditional “standards” the conservative school had come to appreciate. I had fallen in love with one particular melody and spent hours in my bedroom singing off key into a tape recorder trying to nail each note. I may not have had an ear for pitch, but my passion was unparalleled by any kid in my class.
As I grow older, I’ve noticed that I have begun to mark my journey through seasons, not years. This song continues to rise to the surface as I reflect on Time and cyclical dance–in particular, on days like today as I celebrate the life of a friend’s mother.
Thank you, Ms. Kobel, for planting the seeds of Joni Mitchell’s wisdom into my spirit. You made a difference.
from Joni Mitchell’s Circle Game
And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game.