As I think about doors, I am reminded of how often we associate doors with opportunities. Often, when we think of those endless opportunities, we tend to picture open doors, beckoning us to come on through, and yet, I find it equally important to realize that closed doors are still a door. We tend to think of closed doors as barriers, endings, denied access to new beginnings. And often, those doors to the world of the wild don’t look like doors at all [as expressed in this post].
As I reflect on my journey, which has been windy and serendipitous while purposeful and meaningful, I am forced to recall that every door that has closed along the way has led me down another path –oftentimes in ways that are more suited to who I am.
As I continue to sit and reflect, I remind myself that I hold the keys to the doors along the way, and I am reminded of the wisdom delivered by way of my subconscious realizations as I dream.
In fact, I had a dream, once upon a time, of being in this kind of race or challenge. As I was on this journey, people were racing and buzzing by. During the most vivid part of the dream, I arrive at a doorway and I am staring beyond that doorway, toward a stairwell pondering whether I should run up the steep set of stairs. Meanwhile, people continue to run past me, sprinting up the stairs. As I glance up, I see a sign that reads, “The Easy Way” and then, I notice a dark blurry path off to the side –one that feels uncertain and yet, it is one I can feel myself drawn to. As I find myself standing there staring, considering my options someone shouts, “That’s the clear and easy way! Take it!” as they rush by me up the same set of stairs without hesitation.
I remember thinking to myself, “Well, I never do things the easy way,” and there was a part of me that knew the uncertain path would be a challenging one, but it was one that just felt right. So as people continued to run past me up the stairwell, I calmly turned toward the path to my left and walked toward it feeling certain about my choice.
That dream has stuck with me because it continues to serve as a visual reminder of my life’s path. Taking the path less traveled, knowingly stepping into challenging spaces, with a sense of faith rooted in my gut and at the core of who I am.
So, as another door closes, I am certain that there lies a clear path that others have braved before me. I am also reminded that sometimes those doors need to close because the signs aren’t as clear and the doorways are more than alluring and perhaps filled with gold.
I find myself recalling the poetry in J.R.R. Tolkien’s beautiful work of fiction:
- All that is gold does not glitter,
- Not all those who wander are lost;
- The old that is strong does not wither,
- Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
- From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
- A light from the shadows shall spring;
- Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
- The crownless again shall be king.
So, I’ll continue to wander down my path in wonder at the adventurous journey. I know that it may not always make sense to those around me, and still I trust with every ounce of my being that I was built for this path. It may be a dusty uncertain path, but it is where I am most filled with wonder and fulfillment. So, I’ll continue to walk along, leaving my trail of glitter as I go, reminding myself of who I am at every stop along the way. Now excuse me as I continue along this glorious path.
Tolkien, J. R. R. (1954), The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings, Boston: Houghton Mifflin (published 1987), “Strider”, ISBN 0-395-08254-4