The Windmills Of Your Mind Gymnastics

by Sherry Riter in Family,My Childhood,Sherry

school gym gymnastics windmills in your mind

It was the early 1970’s (1970 or 1971) and I was a student in a nice public elementary school. The smell of the books, the bustle of children, the proper teachers and the thrill of constantly learning something new made me fall more in love with school each day. My very young parents were still married and I was extremely happy.

This particular year during gym class we learned some gymnastic skills – cartwheels and tumbling to music. Coordination is not one of my strong points, but I was oblivious to that fact. The true excitement was that the class was going to learn the skills and then during a special program, we would give a show for our parents.


Whether at school or home, in my head I could hear the song that we would use while showing the skills to our parents. I practiced and practiced intent on making my parents proud of me.

Forward rolls.

Stand up.

Turn around.

Backward rolls.

Stand up.

Turn around.


Then “walk” back to the end of the line to do it again.

THE night came and donned in our royal blue shorts and white tshirts, the class entered the school gym walking single file. When we were all standing at the end of the gymnastic mats, the music started playing…

My parents sat not too far away watching and waiting for me to perform. I remember feeling like a star…literally. As the music played over and over, eventually it was my turn. As practiced, I performed each gymnastic skill one by one, unhurried and trying not to look at my parents. When I finally got to the end of the mat and right before I headed back to do it all again, I looked over to see them both watching me.

That memory is embedded in my mind. The connection between child and parents – their loving, proud and approving eyes as they both smiled. As far as I was concerned, at that moment, everything was perfect in the world. It left an indelible memory which is still as crisp in the recollection as it was that day. For over the last forty plus years, every time I’ve heard “Windmills of Your Mind,” I’m transported back to that perfect moment in the elementary school gym.

The absolutely perfect moment of my life as the images unwind like the circles that you find in the windmills of your mind.


The Windmills Of Your Mind

Music by French composer Michel Legrand
English lyrics by Americans Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman

Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel,
Never ending or beginning,
On an ever-spinning reel
Like a snowball down a mountain,
Or a carnival balloon
Like a carousel that’s turning
Running rings around the moon
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes on its face
And the world is like an apple
Spinning silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind.

Like a tunnel that you follow
To a tunnel of its own
Down a hollow to a cavern
Where the sun has never shone
Like a door that keeps revolving
In a half-forgotten dream
Like the ripples from a pebble
Someone tosses in a stream.
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes on its face
And the world is like an apple
Spinning silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind.

Keys that jingle in your pocket
Words that jangle in your head
Why did summer go so quickly?
Was it something that I said?
Lovers walk along a shore
And leave their footprints in the sand
Was the sound of distant drumming
Just the fingers of your hand?
Pictures hanging in a hallway
or the fragment of a song,
half-remembered names and faces
but to whom do they belong?
When you knew that it was over
Were you suddenly aware
That the autumn leaves were turning
To the color of her hair?
Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
On an ever-spinning reel
As the images unwind
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind.

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 mom October 14, 2012 at 4:30 am

You are still rolling and tumbling, that is what life is, ups and downs, side ways, on your head and up again. Always on your side Sherry. I guess lifes song is Rolling on the River——-LoL. Pooh Bear said it best, “Hey Piglet what is this day?” Piglet says, it is “Today” “Oh that is my favorite day” says Pooh


2 Sherry Riter October 14, 2012 at 5:13 am

I love Pooh. 😀 Thanks Mom.


3 Joan October 14, 2012 at 8:50 am

Isn’t it amazing how a certain song can hold so many memories for us and transport us back in time? I loved your story! And I loved your mom’s comment too! 🙂


4 Sherry Riter October 14, 2012 at 9:12 am

Yep, it sure is amazing.


5 Ric Fox October 14, 2012 at 9:05 am

Now, those are the memories you should cherish, Sherry. No matter what else, you have spent your days in the sun, and still do.

My own parents never once came to a single extra curricular function at my school I was in. They too, were very young when I was born. My mother had just turned 18 when I was born. My father was just barely 19.

They both did come to my graduation from High School; my mother to take credit for my achievement more than to celebrate them. My father has always resented me, my education, and everything about me, as he only went to the 8th grade himself.

No matter what happens in your life or how you feel about it, you have people who love you and would always smile with you when you are thrilled with yourself.

Cherish that.
Bask in those memories.


6 Sherry Riter October 14, 2012 at 9:15 am

It is nice to have such a wonderful memory and I do cherish it even more now that my dad has passed away. Thank you, Ric.


7 Skip_D October 15, 2012 at 2:36 am

This has long been one of my favorite songs, & while I don’t have such a beautiful memory associated with it, I can see why yours is so very special. Now this song will mean more to me for having learned of how much it means to you. 🙂


8 Sherry Riter October 15, 2012 at 7:05 am

I’m glad you enjoyed it, Skip. {{{hugsss}}}


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