Maybe you've heard this old nursery rhyme:
"Monday's Child is full of grace.
Tuesday's Child is fair of face.
Wednesday's Child is full of woe.
Thursday's Child has far to go.
Friday's Child is loving and giving.
Saturday's Child must work for a living.
But the Child that's born on the Sabbath day is kind and loving and good and gay."
Guess which child I was. Yup - I'm a Wednesday. The only Wednesday in the family. Growing up I was reminded over and over again. A problem with hearing a message like that is you can adopt it for no better reason than its repetitiveness.
Of late and because the days have been so dark and deep I've been wondering: Is this a time of woe to which I have some birthright as a Wednesday Child? Am I truly woebegone (like a certain Lake of radio lore)? Or could it be that some great blessing might be attached to this time? Maybe even a miracle. But how to know?
Perhaps strangers know you best. And welcome you best of all. Last year I was walking, hiking, trekking and slogging my way for 5 weeks & 500 miles on the Camino de Santiago. I knew woe well. One evening after the pilgrims' dinner a hospitelera held my weather-beaten face in her cupped hands, looked deep into my eyes and offered me this prayer: "May you find what you're looking for, peregrina, even if you don't know what it is." What a kind, heartfelt blessing that was, life-giving and lasting.
As gifts would also have it last night I was re-reading a favorite book: Marilynne Robinson's Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Gilead. On page 55 is this passage by the pastor ruminating on days gone by:
"I could have married again while I was still young. A congregation likes to have a married minister, and I was introduced to every niece and sister-in-law in a hundred miles. In retrospect, I'm very grateful for whatever reluctance it was that kept me alone until your mother came. Now that I look back, it seems to me that in all that deep darkness a miracle was preparing. So I am right to remember it as a blessed time, and myself as waiting in confidence, even if I had no idea what I was waiting for."
I can't say if he was a Wednesday Child or not. I can say I do recognize a fellow pilgrim on the road we call Life which, in its journeying can disappoint us as easily as charm. Savoring the passage I had just read as if it were written for me alone I chose to re-write the nursery line this way: "Wednesday's Child is full of wondering & wandering." I choose to believe that this time is one of waiting in confidence, even if I have no idea what I am waiting for. It's a matter of trust that my life will be delivered.
What about you? Which child are you and how has that served you?