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Gates

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You stand before a gate.  It’s a good day, and the path leads forward.  Behind you lies the road you’ve traveled on to get here; it’s familiar and well worn.  In some ways, you know it better than you know yourself.  You’ve often retraced your steps to get a better look at some particularly odd stone, or a root pushing up through the pathway you almost stumbled on, or just to make sure you hadn’t made a wrong turn back there, where a smaller, overgrown branch held momentary appeal.

Every so often, broken twigs signal a point where you wandered off into the woods, following butterflies, snakes, or other demons.  It was wild and reckless in there; you didn’t stay long.  You wonder if it might be good to push a bit further in, before you leave the woods.  But it’s getting late in the year; some leaves have already turned, and some of the charm has already diminished.  It’s chilly, and your feet hurt.

Up ahead, the sun is out, beckoning like a lost lover.  You see traces of green, a clearing, a place to know where you are, precisely.  There are even more woods beyond that.  This old forest path is kind; adventures are kept to the edges, like handouts at a festival of life.  Some lie strewn at your feet, already discarded.   Hard to make out, though, exactly what’s up there, there’s so much light, and your poor eyes are accustomed to the shade.  There’s still time; what to do?

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