Friday, August 22, 2008

I Came Upon A Child Of God

I came upon a child of God He was walking along the road And I asked him, where are you going And this he told me I'm going on down to Yasgurs farm I'm going to join in a rock n roll band I'm going to camp out on the land I'm going to try an get my soul free No doubt many of you will remember these splendid lyrics to Joni Mitchell's 1969 song "Woodstock" which celebrates to momentous Woodstock Festival of that year. They ran through my mind all yesterday morning. I was sat in my car, halfway around a roundabout on the A6120 just east of Leeds. I had plenty opportunity to remember the lyrics as I had been sat in the same spot for about 40 minutes. My son, Alexander, and two of his friends were also in the car, but I did not involve them in my search for second verse. They are all two young, and anyway they were too full of the excitement of the impending Leeds Festival that they - and about 10,000 other people on the A6120 - were heading for. It was my own fault. Several people much wiser than me had warned me not to attempt to drive them there. The best advice was to put them on a train to Leeds and let them take the Shuttle Bus. But I am an old softy who gets great pleasure from spoiling the lad. And anyway, I know best. If we set off early enough it can't be that bad. So we set off at 06.45 and got to the A6120 without too many problems. And then the traffic stopped. At first I thought that there had been an accident, but soon I noticed that Festival-goers more experienced than me were expecting such delays. Drivers and passengers were getting out of their cars and setting up picnic tables on grass verges. Someone seemed to be erecting a tent at the far exit of the roundabout. I stuck it out for a while longer and then good sense intervened. I managed to turn around and head back to Leeds. I dropped the trio off by the Bus Station and left them to their fortunes with the Shuttle Bus. I later discovered they had managed to get to the Festival in about an hour and a half, which sounded like good going. On the Local News that evening it told of one person who had spent six hours stuck in traffic getting to the Festival site. Was it like this at Woodstock? Of course not. The answer lies in the second verse : Then can I walk beside you I have come here to lose the smog And I feel to be a cog in something turning Well maybe it is just the time of year Or maybe its the time of man I don't know who l am But you know life is for learning Back in the sixties we walked. Mind you, I am not complaining. I should have heeded the warnings. But, as Joni said, life is for the learning.

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