Thursday, June 01, 2006
The Gate: Chapter 2
The other night I went for a bird watching walk through Akron Falls Park. There was a veritable choir amongst the spring leaves. A few of my favorite performers took turns at center stage~ the melodious Catbird, the ever-polite Cedar Waxwing and the stunning, sunshine-in-feathers Baltimore Oriole. It was a soul-soothing 2 hour stroll. Serene and satisfied, I made my way to the park exit. When I got there, I met the park gatekeeper. We exchanged pleasantries. As I left the park, he closed the gate behind me with a clang. It was exactly sunset.
My first thought was,"Oh dear God, there's no going back". Not to the park~ that would open again at 6am, but to something in my life on which the sun had set. Something I would be wise to let shut behind me and keep walking forward.
As often happens to me regarding signs, omens and portents, I understand the intellectual meaning, but have a delayed understanding of the meat of the matter. And things often get chaotic before the meat is properly digested and a new way of being emerges.
I did not care for the events of the 2 days following that clang. Multitudinous small things went wrong, at practically the same moment. My new squirrel-proof bird feeder brought protests from my neighbor downstairs( too much bird-poop would end up on her line dried sheets, didn't I know). A platoon of small ants marched through my bathroom window. That final hair slid down the drain that caused the bath that wouldn't leave. Love-sick rabbits did the nasty in my brand new pink begonia plant and tore it to bits. Water poured into my car from under the dashboard while driving.
I was not amused. But I knew it was all about the mysterious gate I was metaphorically walking through. I knew I was being tested. So instead of engaging in self-pity,(drank that whine, didn't like the hangover), I sucked it up, bought drain cleaner, moved my bird feeder out of poop range, methodically flushed the platoon down the sink, repotted the shreds of love-scarred begonia and ignored the water in my car.
The saying goes, it is darkest before the dawn. I would choose to add, it is messiest before the gate. There's crap and poop and clogs and floods. But I sense it will all be worth it.
Perhaps this gate is simply about taking my life in stride. About rising above the minor messes that creep into my days. About taking needful action to set my life straight instead of needing or demanding someone else do it for me. Maybe it's about letting the sun set and the gate clang shut on the messy, irritating thoughts that clog up my brain and ruin precious days. Maybe it's about choosing to use my mind as the gate to daily serenity and daily satisfaction through positive thinking. Maybe it's simply about finding the splendor in the crap.