04 June 2008

turnstiles into the extraordinary

(Click on this picture and look at the details of this gate...the handle, the scroll work at the top and bottom, the medallion...exquisite and dreamy.)

I have always been drawn to garden gates. I have fond memories of a great aunt's white-washed picket garden gate and the bursting beds of irises and roses just beyond. It just seemed to beckon like a siren to the walking traveler: come over, become lost in my loveliness. If I could, I would forever be stopping to look, ponder, and take photographs of gates. These marvels are designed and used to keep something in or out, but I see beyond this practicality. A message is imbued in these gates: what lies beyond is magical, entry is upon invitation only.

They are likely portals to little wonderlands exploding with green life and sprinkled liberally with shots of purples, scarlets, whites, pinks, and yellows. Secret places, sacred places. The gates represent a threshold. Entering, one leaves the busy world and is transported to a site where bees hold conventions, fairies have dances, spiders practice their art of design, and beetles have parades.

In a corner of my garden rests a bundle of branches from a now long-gone locust tree, patiently waiting for me to transform them into a garden gate, to make amends for the frailness they once were, to become a guardian to a secret garden. There is a design for these branches which hovers just beyond my reach.

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