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!
“Your Dad and I are retired, we don’t
have to wait until weekends! We left in our van
over two weeks ago!”
“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