By Tim Kalinowski
When I was very young, and in all honesty my biggest concern at the time was the relative wetness of my toddler underpants, my mother told me old nursery rhyme which some of you might also have heard.
“Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go,
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath day
Is fair and wise and good in every way.”
So taken with this rhyme was my mother that she undertook to needle point it in a pillow case, along with images of leaves, vines and roses. She made one for each of her four children, using the appropriate part of the rhyme for the day each of us was born. I still have that pillow case somewhere put away in storage. I remember well the embroidered words on mine: “Thursday’s child has far to go.”
I did not understand the meaning of these words when I was a kid. Did it mean I was going on a long trip? Did it mean some measure of distance? I still ponder the words sometimes and have a refrigerator magnet embossed with the same expression which I see everyday.
I have come to think “far to go,” while it could refer to distances, destinations and horizons, actually refers to the journey of the meandering spirit I have so far tranced across my living days. I am never completely at my ease. I know there is some further peak I must climb, and may never reach.
The world’s moods often change between dark and light, war and peace, love and hate, but there is a pure seam, a rivulet which burbles gently through the landscape like a silver streamer of light. It is this rivulet I follow, whether the land around be parched or verdant.
I have taken in my hand the symbols of that journey: My flyfisher’s rod, my writer’s pen and an ancient bardic song spoken in nursery rhyme.
“Thursday’s child has far to go.” I know all I see about me are transient things; things others have built destined to decay and loss.
Even the land will change. Deserts were once oceans and prairie hills waking dreams of arctic ice.
I have entered this story somewhere in the middle and I will exit long before its reaches its end. There are things in this world none of us were born to understand. That doesn’t mean, however, we shouldn’t try.