You are reading the ongoing writing process for a new book of daily reflections/meditations. Already published by this author is “Cast A Long Shadow”, 90 daily reading for our journey through life. This book is now available as a Kindle e-book, (you don’t need to have a Kindle to download and read it on your computer) as well as still being available direct from the publisher, on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and other Amazon European sites
I have an abiding picture in my mind of a country cottage, surrounded by a wooden fence, and an old swinging gate to enter the garden.
It is not a substantial gate – anyone could break in if they had a mind to – but it marks the place where the public space becomes a private area, and the link between them.
A gate can have this symbolism, because it is an access from one place to another – a transitional place that we often don’t really notice.
But this symbol is more than just a physical location, it can come to mean more than the strictly utilitarian.
A physical gate can be swinging open in the breeze, shut firmly, padlocked, even alarmed and covered with razor-wire.
And all of these may be appropriate – or not – in different circumstances.
A high security compound containing a store of gold probably does require a strong gate to protect it, whereas a cottage in a small friendly village would have the open variety of gate.
To put the armored gate on the cottage would be unnecessary, and an open gate on the gold store would be asking for trouble.
And so it is with the non-physical gates that we have in our hearts and souls.
Some of us have become so afraid of hurt that we lock our gates tight against any intrusion.
We may have learned that to open ourselves up only leads to pain, and so we hide behind our locks and never let anyone in.
In that way we do, indeed, become safe – but it is the safety of the locked prison cell – no one can get in, but neither can we get out.
There are times when it is appropriate to keep the gate of our heart safely closed – but for most of the time, we gain most when we are like the cottage gate – open to the world and free to roam.
Because our hearts are not meant to be the sterile and safe environment of the locked safe.
We are designed to be part of life, to embrace it and welcome it in, and even if it sometimes hurts, it is the hurt of growth.
Since life is a journey, we must embrace all of it, good and bad, and learn to grow from both types of experience.
Because what is important is to change, and to do that, we need to always leave the gate to our heart ajar.