Music ‘n Musings

Don’t be scared to embrace change


There’s something about James Taylor that just automatically soothes me whenever I listen to him sing. He has a very soft, tender, acoustic sound that immediately makes me think of the warm summer sun and traveling through the mountains. I wouldn’t call myself a major fan by any means, seeing as I only listen to about three of his songs, and even then I have to be in a specific mood to really enjoy them. But something about his music and poetic lyrics makes me want to simply sigh, sit back and enjoy the view of life around me.

My favorite song of his by far is “Fire and Rain.” Released in 1970 at a turbulent time in his life during a tough battle with drug addiction and the death of a friend, it’s a song of reflection. He looks back on his life and the lives of his friends, and when I listen to it, I just can’t stop myself from joining in on the self-reflection. It may be about his own life and struggles, but it resonates across individual experiences.

I can’t think of a better song for the end of the first month of the year. Every January, hopeful souls make New Year’s resolutions, planning on making changes in the next year in order to somehow improve. Inevitably, the majority of these resolutions fall through by the end of the month, but I still consider January the month of self-improvement, where one reflects on what did or didn’t work in the past year and tries to bring into the new year only the things that will encourage success.

2019 was definitely a year of growth for me. Every year has highs and lows, but it feels like last year was especially meant to foster positive strengthening, whether it was emotionally, mentally or spiritually.

For the longest time, I think I was “walking my mind to an easy time,” never really trying too hard to grow or step outside of my comfort zone because it was just that: comfortable. But time waits for no man, and as Taylor so beautifully puts it, “Lord knows, when the cold wind blows, it’ll turn your head around.” That “cold wind” really knocked some sense into me, so I really tried to work on myself and do some introspection so that I could become a better, more well-rounded person by December.

“I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain,” each in their own turn, but I sincerely think that I’m better for it. People, events and experiences from last year have all brought me up to this point, and I hope to improve on this growth in 2020. “There’s just a few things coming my way this time around” this year, and it can be the same way for everyone.

Scan here to watch James Taylor perform “Fire and Rain” live in 1970 on Youtube.

Change is scary, but it’s a necessary evil. This is especially important to keep in mind during high school, where it feels like everything is changing. Maturing and intentionally trying to become a better person is difficult, but with personal growth comes a positive outlook. There may be a little fire and rain along the way, but it’s all worth it. Make 2020 the year of personal growth.