Today is Mom’s birthday. For her tenth birthday my Grandmother gave her an Army surplus compass.
Mother Nature gave her a blizzard.
Being the stubborn, headstrong person that she is (and now you can stop wondering where I get it from!) she was determined to go to school and she took her shiny new compass with her. She walked the mile to school and was amazed, when she got there to see all the snow that had blown into the room. There was snow on all of the window sills, sifting in from outside. She was immediately told to go home.
As she walked home both the wind and the snow picked up, she couldn’t see across the street. She pulled out her compass, then she realized that she didn’t know how to use it. Being 10 she thought it would point her towards home. Thankfully the wind eased a bit and she could see that she was only two blocks from home.
I remember being told this story often while I was growing up. It’s a story I never get tired of hearing. It was mythical and magical all in one. I remember seeing the compass from time to time and I revered it. It held a type of magic for me. Even as an adult it holds a kind of magic. As a kid I remember when Mom would tell me the story and it would unfold in my imagination. In my imagination it’s always an epic journey.
The year I turned ten, Mother Nature gave me a blizzard as well.
The year I turned 40 Mom passed the compass on to me. It feels like I have been given an item of great power. The mythical compass that was carried on that epic journey that my imagination conjured up, always glowing with some kind of magic power.
And for me, the compass will always lead me home.
Happy Birthday Mom. I love you