My father had a workbench in the basement of our house. It was a large space that took up a whole corner. After supper every night when he couldn’t be outside, he would disappear downstairs to his tools and saws. I was never allowed to touch anything connected to the bench – which had multiple drawers and cool looking stuff hanging all around. They told me it was dangerous, and I suppose it was. He wasn’t a carpenter or craftsman. He spent his days in a grocery store, owned by his father. My father was the butcher and the store was known for his expertise. But he didn’t like the job. It was hard work in those days, lugging huge sides of beef around and standing all day, cutting up and packaging meat. My grandfather was not a generous employer and there was a lot of friction between them that I was not privy to. Dad worked six days a week, twelve hours a day. He never had a vacation in the seventeen years he did this. I used to beg to follow him to the basement. I promised to sit quietly and just watch what he was doing (an empty promise for a chatty child). He finally relented one day and from then on I was his companion in that forbidden place. I couldn’t see what he was doing that was so important. He messed with his tools, sorted his nails, sawed boards in half, and cleaned out drawers. A few times he used his big saw to cut out a wooden doll, just for me. But what I did see, was a different man from the stressed, angry, disciplinarian he usually was. He was kind and gentle and happy. I often wished he and I could stay there forever.
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”