Circles and Cycles


In the children’s animated movie, “The Lion King,” (1994)

my three children felt that the song, The Circle of Life”

was very special. I had followed Elton John since his album,

“Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road,” came out. So, they were quite

used to my enjoying and singing his lyrics.

For them, ages 9, 12 1/2 and 14, it was a song that meant

something in many different ways. They were all on the ‘cusp’

or in the midst of puberty. Their grandfather, my Dad, had

been ill, but lived for seven more years. I remember their

listening to the Cd, on the road to Vermilion, Ohio, where

my parents lived. Then, the next day to Cedar Point, with my

brothers, sister in law, two of her children, and parents.

In our part of the ‘caravan’ my Dad sat between my youngest

daughter and son. My oldest girl was riding in the van ahead

of us, with her girl “cuz.” My Mom had chosen to also ride

in the van, with the larger part of the family.

My youngest daughter told my ex-husband to ‘turn the sound

up in the back please, so Grandpa O. can hear all the words.”

They had introduced the movie to my Dad, explaining that he

HAD to hear all the songs. I was happy, since this left time

for them to be relaxing for the big day at the amusement

park. I looked back, saw my Dad closing his eyes, not to sleep

but you could tell he felt ‘honored’ to be the one chosen for

the music. That was part of the best thing about his stroke,

his even more buoyant joy and his ‘presence’ in every moment.

My Dad enjoyed the songs, would ask to have a pause in the

Cd and asked questions about how the song fit into the film.

To me, when I think back, the song means a lot in our lives,

how things do go full circle. How we have seasons and cycles.

I think that my parents loving ‘musical theatre’ helped me,

along with clarinet lessons and all the forms of ‘band’ that

I participated in, to want to stay ‘current’ with the way

music has changed, evolved, but also carries patterns that

were ‘set in motion,’ since people started tapping out the

beats on their drums or homemade instruments.

We all can relate to certain things that are the rhythms

or moments in our lives that resonate and one little ‘spark’

of a memory, sends us off into that tangent…

A Simple Poem

(about Life Cycles)

When my children were little and made mistakes,

I would try to remember they were just learning.

When they became teens, espousing their knowledge

showing sass and starting to work,

I said to myself, “At least they are earning.”

When the ‘kids’ got older still and broke other’s

hearts and their own got broken, too…

I saw their sadness and yearning.

When they began choosing partners (well two did

at this point) who seemed not to fit,

I ignored my impulse to give them warning.

As life is a process.

It should always include growth,

and here is a ‘review’ of those stages.





and when it seems nearly

impossible for any more


You go back to the first,

and still do some learning!

~Written in a light hearted manner by Robin E. O. Cochran

Another direction that I thought hard about was

including my parents path, while retiring at 55.

Using one more ‘rhyme’ with ‘learning’

could have added their ‘burning!’

My parents burned a new trail by buying a

mini RV, back then called a “Transvan.”

They drove up to our house, having written

they had a surprise ‘getaway’ for my 3 kids

and me, too.

While touring the ‘van’ which is what my kids

called it, I noticed my Mom was not wearing a


I pulled her aside and asked her about this

new habit. She claimed that she ‘had burned

her bra!’ Like those feminists…

Dad asked the kids while we went to their

Good Sam camp ground what groceries to

pick out for their mini-fridge.

When they chose hot dogs, marshmallows,

graham crackers, mustard, ketchup, relish,

whole pickles, and baked beans, My Mom

added Hershey’s chocolate bars and some


The last use of that ‘burning’ desire was


My Dad, while the children wandered into a

woods to find sticks to roast their ‘weinies’

on, he built a fire.

Once back and the hot dogs were pierced by

their sticks, my Dad said these important


“You may burn your dessert marshmallows, but

don’t burn your hot dogs! They are your main


The next day, after ghost stories, songs and

much revelry were celebrated on our ‘first

family camp out,’ Mom asked me to go with her

into town to do some laundry.

I looked at her askance, since we had only

been on the road with them for one whole day!

Mom explained,

“Your Dad and I are retired, we don’t

have to wait until weekends! We left in our van

over two weeks ago!”

She added,

“Didn’t you notice the post office stamp?”

We headed North before we headed South!”

While at the laundry, I got to hear about

their other excursions and adventures.

As I think back, I will add another sort of

poem, one called:


Get dirty (Work hard, roll up your sleeves).

Take off (Grow, learn and expand your world).

Wash (Clear mind, your life and interests).

Rinse (Renew, change, and get rid of the suds).

Spin (Enjoy, turns ahead, topsy turvy on winding roads.)

Dry (Air out, warm up, adding ‘heat’ to your life.)

Start periodically again, on a ‘regular’ basis.”

reocochran April, 2014


14 responses »

  1. My three sons would sing circle of life and then they would do what boys do… Pretend they were being stampeding each other as Mufasa was.

    • I think this was such a clever way to remind us of how the boys viewed Circle of Life! There were the stampedes and dangers in the movie, too! I added ‘warnings’ to one of my poems! Great addition to this comment. Thanks!

  2. Great poems Robin! I especially liked the one about life cycles! It, and your post over-all, reminds me of this Shakespeare quote from the play As You Like It:

    “All the world’s a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players;
    They have their exits and their entrances,
    And one man in his time plays many parts,
    His acts being seven ages.”

    • I liked this Shakespeare quotation, wonderful addition to this post! I am afraid I am considered, ‘low brow’ in my style of poetry and Shakespeare, in my book, is ‘high brow!’ Smiles and glad to see you adding your 2 cents! Smiles, Robin

  3. This was just lovely to read. It was written with such love and fondness, you can feel it coming from the page.

    I have happy memories of The Lion King with my family too. It’s funny how a memory can be triggered.

    • Thank you so much for calling this a ‘lovely read!’ I am so glad that you have happy memories of the movie, too! It is nice to be able to trigger your memories, Jane! I have a rough draft of the awards post in my wordpress! Smiles, Robin

  4. I LOVE that about Mom’s bra! Fabulous! The circle of life. Ah, my daughter would so love to be in that musical. (Yes, I’m off on one of my tangents). She put up the video of the cast on an Australian flight singing for the passengers the other day.

  5. I find your use of laundry cycles as a metaphor for stages of life quite clever. And since you shared a light-hearted poem, I will share one with you.
    The turtle live twixt plated decks
    which practically conceals its sex.
    I think it clever of the turtle
    in such a fix to be so fertile.
    – Ogden Nash
    🙂 – Mike

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