Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mondays child is fair of face,
Tuesdays child is full of grace,
Wednesdays child is full of woe,
Thursdays child has far to go,
Fridays child is loving and giving,
Saturdays child works hard for his living,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

From an early age, I heard my parents recite this poem.  My mother quoted it with the most vigor in our family, probably because she was a baby born on the Sabbath day.   As a child, I didn’t realize that the poem’s roots come from the telling of personal fortune based on the person’s birth day as practiced in the 1570’s in Suffolk, England.  I didn’t really believe that the poem had any marker of truth.  Nevertheless,  the life forecast by my birth day, Thursday, was always vaguely unsettling to me.  In my eyes, it was third from the bottom of the possible fortunes, only slightly better than Friday’s fate, yet greatly preferable to the miserable plight of Wednesday’s child.   Did being Thursday’s child mean that I had ‘a long way to go’ to being normal?  Did it mean I would never get ‘there’, whether ‘there’ was a state of normalcy, a goal or a place?  Was I destined to be a failure?
It wasn’t until I reached middle age that I suddenly realized that Thursday’s child’s fortune is neither a condemnation nor a curse, but actually a very great blessing.    Whereas I certainly have always had a long way to go in multiple aspects of my life and development --  and will continue to do so -- it came to me that the central focus of the rhyme’s forecast is that having a long way to go necessarily involves a myriad of things to do, see, and experience along the way.  Having a goal that is far off requires a sense of vision and commitment to reach – or at least attempt to reach -- that journey’s end.    It entails recollecting past experiences as well enjoying the road along the way.  Past – Present – Future.  The fullness of time, in a way.
Increasing, as is the case for most middle aged folks, I imagine, reflecting on the journey, where one has been, where one is, and where one is going, grows more important in the quest for the meaning of one’s life.   Both my faith and my philosophy show me that the search for meaning forms the heart of every individual’s unique responsibility and relates closely to his or her ultimate joy.  To that end, my plan is that this blog will document my own “captain’s log” of significant markers in life’s journey, allow exploration of the meanings they may hold, and  serve as a way to connect with other pilgrims along the way. 


  1. Ahhh... see now, I always saw the "far to go" as saying that this child is uniquely gifted, full of potential and will consequently go far in life (which is a wonderful descriptor of you my dear friend:})

    So fun to share this blogging journey with you!

  2. Thank you, Diane! I so often find that my friends help me believe in myself. And you are the person who gave me the idea of blogging with your wonderful example!