Things change. And when you make a conscious effort to change, things can change dramatically.
I stood looking out onto Georgian Bay and was feeling more courageous, confident and contented with who I am and where I am in the world. And given where I came from that is no small feat.
Gateways – arches, windows and doors – were a theme for me in 2015. I am not sure I even put it all together until I started to write the ending to my collection of stories.
I noticed them all in the thousands of pictures I had taken the summer on my travels, especially in Spain and Morocco. These beautifully detailed gateways into worlds hidden away: ancient. historic. beautiful. and yet still purposeful today.
Gateways are symbols. A reminder that we are entering or leaving a space. There is an arch in one of the thousands of small, narrow streets in the medina in Fez, Morocco. The arch is very low and most people must bow to pass below it. It is a reminder that one is entering a holy area near the neighbourhood mosque. As one enters the area, by bowing, one is reminded to conduct oneself accordingly.
In the same fashion, we enter a home through a door and depending on the custom or culture we may remove our shoes, say a prayer, or ask to enter.
Sometimes, these gateways hold secrets of a culture or community. I remember staring at the elaborate door to a mosque in Marrakech and wishing I could enter, even briefly, to see what lay beyond the door? What secrets are held in trust?
What do we really know about the goings on behind these doors? Always curious. The rough and shoddy windows holding space in an artist’s loft where he creates masterpieces. The elegant door behind which holds years of despair and violence. What do we really know?
I searched the windy, narrow streets of the medinas in Fez, Casablanca, and Marrakech. Hundreds of doors and windows. Hundreds of mosques. Hundreds of secrets contained.
Little did I know that it would be a recurring theme with me. I spent the year delving deep into the trenches of my soul, cleaning house if you will. Dusting out the cobwebs, shaking the rugs out, and sweeping everything right out the door. It was time to open some windows and let the air circulate. Fresh air, a clean house, and a new perspective.
I stood looking into one of these windows and see my own reflection. My face revealing something new mixed with the old. Soul cleaning is hard work.
There is a deep desire to perch at a window’s seat and stare out to the world beyond, and, for a time at least, just let it pass by. But there is too much work to be done. The second part of my life (or that which comes after this) will be filled with different stories, new stories, hopefully, happier stories. But I needed to experience this journey in order to learn, to grow, to become who I am today.
I invite you to journey into your own soul cleaning with me. Transitions and movement through gateways in our life, can be challenging work. Having someone to hold space for you is comforting and helpful.