She had just left the family fold and found herself in a circular room with doors surrounding her. There were plain, wooden doors, fancy carved ones, garishly painted doors, others made of flimsy metal. And one fancy door adorned with gold leaf. A few were wide open, another few ajar, but most were closed. She tried a closed door, one of the fancy carved ones. It was locked. Then she peeked into a garishly painted door. Through the door she could see a brightly-colored landscape, with cartoonish characters. That’s not for me, she thought. Another door led to a gray, gravel path, with no trees or bushes in sight. She shivered. How boring. Then she noticed a plain door made of beautiful brown wood in a recess in the wall. She tried its knob. It opened. She tentatively took a step inside. There was a small grass-covered path. Trees lined each side of the path and wild flowers bloomed beneath the trees. Clearly not many people had trod here. She liked this landscape. It reminded her of her childhood. So she set off along the path, not hurrying, feeling the cool breeze, smelling the scented bulbs that bloomed, enjoying the solitude. For awhile she walked peacefully, just enjoying herself. But then she became hungry and realized there was no food along this path. She didn’t wish to go off the path searching; she might get lost. She continued awhile until she could go no longer without eating, then she reluctantly turned back. She found the door and re-entered the round room. Here she found food awaiting her. She ate until she was full, then examined the doors once again. This time, she would choose a substantial door, one with a path that would sustain her. Her father had told her to find large, heavy doors. They led to the best paths, he said. So she chose a heavy wooden door, with an esoteric carving on it. That should be interesting. The door was heavy but she was able to push it open. Once inside, she found several paths. All seemed to have interesting sights on them. She chose one that led up a hill and began to walk. The path was indeed interesting and she found much to keep her busy. But there were also obstacles in the path that she must avoid. So she found herself watching her steps instead of looking at the scenery. Soon the hill before her became steeper. She watched her steps more carefully and began to walk more slowly. For many hours she trudged, meeting only an occasional fellow traveler. The hill became steeper and steeper. She wasn’t sure she wanted to continue. She met a man travelling with a large pack. They walked together awhile. He didn’t seem to mind the steep hill, as she did, nor the rocks in the road. Finally, she told him she needed to return to the room of doors. She could not go any longer on this path. He seemed to understand and told her she could find him again on another path. She returned to the doors. She knew her father would be disappointed, but she just didn’t enjoy this path. Now she had to choose again. The beautiful path had not allowed her to eat and live, the other path was interesting but not for her. What should she choose? Wasn’t there a path that was both interesting and would have food for her to gather? She looked at a small door that was gaily painted with fantastical creatures. She was intrigued. The door was open so she entered. She found several paths, leading in different directions. She chose the middle one. Immediately there were many interesting sights and many people. There was the sound of chatter and laughter and she glimpsed children playing in the woods. As she walked, she met the children, talked with them and even taught them about the forest. Then she walked on until she met another group of children. It was fun and kept her busy. But there were also obstacles in the road. Often, she stumbled on rocks or found a log that lay in her path. And sometimes she met people who were rude or mean. But she stepped over the rocks, climbed the logs, and left the mean people behind. She enjoyed the children and that made the path worthwhile. Besides, there was plenty of food along the way. She was even able to gather enough food to save for later. She followed this path for a long time. Occasionally she met the man when their paths crossed and they spent some time together before their paths veered off again. Once she returned to the beginning of the path and took the other one instead. It was even more fun and there were fewer mean people. She followed that path for awhile. But one day, she began to feel tired. She still enjoyed the children but the rocky path tired her more than in the past. Perhaps it was time to return to the room of doors. She saw a path that forked off from her path. It was enticing. She started to walk on the path. It was filled with butterflies and other interesting insects, but she still felt tired and she saw rocks ahead. So she turned back and went into the room of doors. She looked at all the doors. What did she want now? A path that was not too hard but was interesting. A beautiful path, with few people and few obstacles. One that let her decide where and when to walk, that would let her rest when she so chose. And one where she would still meet her occasional companion. She noticed the first door she had ever taken was ajar once more. Its simple design drew her towards it. She remembered how much she had enjoyed this path. But it had not fed her. Well, no matter, she now had a good store of food. And if she ran out, she could always visit the other path for awhile. She entered the small, plain door. Immediately, she felt calm as she walked along the grassy path, lined by flowering bulbs of many colors. She felt at peace. She walked along peacefully for awhile. When she became hungry, she sat down in a grove of trees at a crossroads to eat. She saw her fellow traveller come along another little path. When he saw her, he sat down with her and they ate and talked together. Then they took up their packs and walked along the little lane together. Both of them at peace at last.
The house was ablaze with light And loud in song and laughter. A man in evening dress, With cradled corsage in hand, Stood hesitant at the door. He knocked not once but thrice, With vigor, then timidity. No break in din and merriment! Hopes dashed and shoulders slumped, The figure at the door Let fall his corsage, turned And stiffly left the porch. A slowly walking shadow Soon blended with the dark, Expected and missed by no one!
Night's silence was broken by lively sound, Night's darkness pierced by blazing light, And footsteps drifted slowly away. For some there is no welcome and no stay!
An epigram a day:
We are born, but we do our own living and dying.
It is never too late to be late.
There is no way, only ways.
Respect the past but do not allow it to dominate the future.
Opportunity is an open door to better possibility.
Expectations are disappointments ready to happen.
There are many seekers but few finders.
Piccola has her say:
Humans exist to open and close doors.
Look at your master. Then look at the doorknob. The door will magically open.
I should close the door? Why? I might want to go out again.
Whine to go out Bark to come in Whine to go out again Do this many times a day That is the Piccola way.