During my years growing up in Ft. Worth, Tex., I fell in love with the make-believe world of fairy tales. I read every book in that section of the city's big downtown library, filling my head with stories of princes and princesses, witches and monsters.
And, the more I read, the more fascinated I became with two wonderful make believe talents: the ability to see the future and the ability to become invisible.
Although I still think invisibility would be quite useful in certain situations, I'm grateful I was never cursed with the capacity to predict what's ahead.
It might be interesting to see the good things around the bend in life's pathway. But learning about bad news before it happens could simply double the worry, compound the sorrow.
One of my favorite quotes comes from Isak Dinesen, author of "Out of Africa." She said, "God made the earth round so that we would not see too far down the road."
In spite of my childhood love of fairy tales, maturity has shown me the wisdom of that thought. I enjoy dreaming about what's in store, but knowing is another thing entirely.
My mom occasionally surprised the family with her uncanny knack for looking into the future. The talent seemed to be a combination of a mother's intuition and good-guessmanship. The ability gave her a reputation as a chronic worrier. She even admitted she often "borrowed trouble" from tomorrow.
From time to time, I've read stories of those reportedly "blessed" with premonitions of events yet to come. In every case, the ability caused pain and anxiety.
Some folks are convinced astrology holds the key to knowing the future in advance. Like most people, I often look over the astrology columns, checking out what the star-guided analyzers say is in store for me.
Now, if astrology is your bag, I apologize for my skepticism, but I've always found these Zodiac-based peeks into the future are so general they could fit anyone. The self-proclaimed experts can hardly go wrong with such non-specific predictions as, "You may experience financial problems," or "Stress at home."
I'm not disappointed that my future isn't spelled out in the horoscope columns or in the alignment of the stars. I don't really want to know what tomorrow, next week or next year will bring.
Just think what the ability to foretell the future might reveal. You could know in advance that you would lose your job or year health. Or you might foresee a relaxing trip to Hawaii. But you could also learn ahead of time just when your dog would die.
No, I'm grateful that I was never given a crystal ball.
But, I'll admit, I'd still like to give that invisibility thing a try.