Delapidated DoorwayEven the most dilapidated door holds promise. What lies in the darkness beyond? It had been a night of sound sleep; sleep so deep that as I began to awaken I didn't know where I was. I didn't know whether I'd been asleep for moments, or hours, or perhaps days. The grey light that shone dimly through my windows could mean the beginning or the end of the day. That semi-conscious space was itself so peaceful that I felt the need neither to step through the doorway of continued slumber nor to pass through to wakefulness. Then I heard it; the rooster crowed. A new day had dawned. But recalling the confusion and wonder of the preceding moments I pondered what it may be like to awaken without the contextual clues necessary to recognize time and place. Even my sleep dimmed faculties recognized the symbolic power of the moment.
Our lives are filled with times of transition, and this week we celebrate one that is universally recognized - the "ringing in" of the the New Year. Like every such transition it brings with it a note of uncertainty. We may wish one another a "Happy New Year", hoping the next year will be better than the last, that suffering and loss will be left behind while peace and joy fill the days ahead. But really we know that the year will bring for most of us both sorrow and joy. Passing through the door to a new year exposes us to risks and danger. And like all such liminal moments the New Year may, if we will allow it, open the way to great adventure, to new opportunities to learn and serve. We may discover the door into our deeper selves, or pathways into the hearts of others. But just as with the passage from wakefulness to sleep, pass we must. We may linger in the doorway for a while, but we cannot remain there. We must go on.
As I contemplated that dreamlike state the words in the photograph below came to me. In those days just over a year ago I had found great peace at Frogmore Farm had attained a sense of purpose and accomplishment in my part-time work. Yet I knew my mother's passing was drawing near. I cannot say I am thankful for all that I experienced in the weeks to come, but I am thankful for that one moment of confusion which led to an experience of profound clarity.
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see. Henry David Thoreau