Where This Meets That
The year 1996 represented a rebirth for me.
I’d fouled out on my first swing at college, a few years before. My second attempt fizzled, as well, after which I gave a year to full time department store work. That year taught me that I simply had to earn a degree.
In January 1996, I landed at a small college in LaGrange, Georgia, and there I struck gold.
There, I discovered what college was about. I formed some of my strongest friendships and even found inspiration in the classroom.
There, I discovered what it was like to truly fall in love, when I found the woman I would later marry and raise five children with.
There, I discovered an inebriating love for spring. LaGrange in spring was a landscape dominated by brilliant azaleas and lovely old cottages. It was a time of tossing Frisbees and climbing trees on sunny afternoons and looking up at the stars from blankets on the lakeshore on clear, breezy nights.
During a drive with a friend one particularly perfect spring afternoon, I fell in love with Joni Mitchell. Beneath a Mediterranean blue sky, all worries whisked away out the rolled-down windows, and Joni’s song “Carey” invited, “Come on down to the Mermaid Cafe and I will buy you a bottle of wine, and we’ll laugh and toast to nothing and smash our empty glasses down!”
Something about “laughing and toasting to nothing” struck me as base joy, celebrating simply being alive. And “smashing the empty glasses down” meant doing so with gusto!
Last week, I drove a couple of my kids past the house in LaGrange where I met their mother, along with so many other special people, and memories came flooding back. Amid the climax of spring blossoms, I found Joni Mitchell’s “Carey” coming to mind as the soundtrack.
Today, I invite you to check out my spring soundtrack on Youtube. It’s called “Springtime Air”, and it’s chock full of tunes that add a little something to my spring. I hope it can do the same for yours, starting with Joni Mitchell’s infections joie de vivre, “Carey”. Enjoy!