This time of year is not my favorite. I don’t anxiously anticipate winter sports or snow days that keep me trapped indoors for days on end. After a recent cold snap I was thinking about this. Other people seem to have no aversion to the cold and in fact get practically giddy as the first snowflake of the season falls. Perhaps they didn’t have my experience of walking to school as a child. Yes, this is going to be one of those “I walked ten miles in snow drifts over my head stories”. Actually I walked maybe fifteen blocks in my town. In elementary school there was no problem. The school was only a block and a half away from home, but middle school was a different story. The middle and high school campus was on the other side of town. My father was at work by 6:00 a.m. and my mother didn’t get a driver’s license until I was in high school (a story for another time). So I walked. First of all, life was slightly different then. Girls had to wear dresses to school. I was a pre-teen age girl. There were things that I would do, and things I was never going to do. I was never going to wear pants under my dress. I was never going to wear knee socks, a hat or gloves. For some reason, buttoning a coat wasn’t cool either. Thankfully book bags came in style in my era but huge notebooks and heavy textbooks were also the norm. Secondly, because I wanted to be just like my sister, I chose to play her alto saxophone in the band. I had to carry it to school each morning and place it in the band room for her to use for class. The sax was heavy and the case weighed as much or more than it did. It slowed me down considerably. I would have to stop and switch hands every few steps and I often visited the lobby of the post office (about the halfway mark of my trip) to warm up and regain feeling in my hands. Basically I was freezing and miserable. So I have subconsciously linked this association of unhappy winter walks to school to anything to do with winter. I’m sure my mother volunteered to call other moms to get me a ride. I could have chosen a light weight clarinet, my other sister’s instrument, to play in the band and drag to school every morning. I could have traded vanity for a warm hat and gloves. As I look at it now, winter had very little to do with my dilemma. It was my own choices that made the difference. I suppose it always is.
Teresa Sue McAdams, co-creator of “Today’s Journey Tarot”, co-author of “Today’s Journey Tarot, A Traveler’s Guide”, co-author of “Tarot Meditations, A Journal for Self Discovery”, and author of “Lessons, The Wisdom Within Each Moment”