The Eight of Wands
The Eight of Wands is a journey card. Traditionally, the Eight of Wands suggests speed, intention and safe travel. Seems like a good omen, as we are about to embark on a trip to Martha’s Vineyard.
Looking at the speedy Wands on this card, it recalls the journeys I’ve taken and lessons learned. The more glamorous the destination, the more exciting the trip! In terms growth, however, the more amazing trips may be in your own backyard!
One of the greatest journeys – one that would linger with me into adulthood – was a weekly trip my sister and I would make with our grandmother, Mimi. We were sent to Mimi every summer. Mimi’s home was tucked away amid the manicured estates of New Canaan, Ct – the same town Ang Lee’s film; “The Ice Storm” was set in. Mimi had a huge pool. My sister and I were delighted to splash away each summer while the windows of Mimi’s spooky old house peered down at us from above.
Once a week, Mimi would exclaim it was time to go marketing! She would announce it as if we were hopping aboard the QE2 for the next two weeks. Marketing was nothing more that going to the grocery store. But Mimi made the whole process seem like a very big event.
For Mimi, marketing was sensual foreplay to the main act of eating. She understood, like Martha Stewart (who lived two towns over), that food shopping could be elevated to an art form. It could be pure pleasure. One could linger in the grocery aisle with the same joy induced by the art hanging in the Louvre.
First, we’d hit the produce section, Mimi would gasp over the plump red tomatoes, smelling them, inspecting for imperfections. Thrilled with her tomatoes, she’d move onto the corn, exuberantly ripping open the husks making sure they were fresh. Moving to the berries, she’d excitedly choose the ripest for our breakfast table. A sweet companion to our crisp, salty sourdough toast.
On to the butcher, where I learned how to flirt my way to the best cut of prime rib. Butcher banter is a delicate balance. It is a boys club behind the meat counter. One should retain their feminine wiles, while letting the butcher know you know a good marbled steak when you see it. A butcher’s main concern is knowing the meats they’ve slaved over will be prepared to their fullest potential. Always let a butcher know what a marvelous chef you are!
Then, off to dry staples – a box of Trisket crackers, big jar of Hellmans. To the dairy – tons of butter, a large chunk of blue cheese – to be served at 5:00 with the Triskets and the first of many cocktails. Finally, to the check out – where Mimi’d charm the cashier and trade sexual innuendo with the bag boy, while my sister and I begged, pleaded and schemed our way to a Snickers bar.
Later in life, I moved to NYC. There, I bantered with Spanish butchers on 9th Avenue, gasped at fresh produce in Union Square Farmer’s Market and reveled in the Whole Foods revolution. I occurred to me my shopping style stemmed back to Mimi.
Mimi understood beauty was to be found in the perfectly summer ripe tomato, a creamy hunk of blue cheese, paired with the perfect wine. More importantly, she taught us as children to appreciate that beauty as well. It is this same appreciation that modern day gratitude journals spring from. The same attention Van Gogh used while painting Starry Night. It is an attitude of appreciation that can be fostered within all of us!
So, there you have a prime example of a transformative Eight of Wands journey. What small journeys of your childhood have impacted you? Have you ever taken a trip that changed your? Are you planning a trip at the moment? Do you have little ones in your life? How do your attitudes and journeys affect them?