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Doorways of the Mind and Heart

This is the front door of the home of a friend in Sedona we were visiting last year, and I was struck by its solid nature - it has no window and no peephole.

I took this photo because I really liked the light on the door and the complementary presence of the bush and the blue stucco, and yet I was struck by the absence of any window in the door. Perhaps I'm influenced by the front doors on our homes in Sedona and Eugene - both are mostly glass, and they look directly out on the streets we live on. They let lots of light in, and we can see the sky and landscape around us.

As I've reflected on this unique door, it seemed to me that it's a powerful metaphor for the way we sometimes live with our own inner "front door." Do we let the "light" in - by seeing people, nature, the sun and moon, the sight of birds and squirrels, the sight of people walking and bicycling along the street we live on? Do we connect with others, and enjoy their light, even if it's a clerk at Safeway?

On a deeper level, what people and animals do we let in to our hearts and minds, and what effect does that have on us? What memories, beliefs, feelings, wishes, and longings do we embrace and what do we keep out? What movies, news, and gossip do we let in or put aside? What inner doors could we open to people we haven't connected with yet, who might be a treasure to be with?

As I'm writing this, one of our Burmese cats, Paloma (Spanish for dove) is rubbing her cheeks on the screen of my laptop. Noticing this, I moved to our couch and held out my curled-up fingers and presented my knuckles to her. She began rubbing her cheeks on them, and purring. This is normal for most cats, but she was raised in a cattery and didn't get much attention from the breeder - she was very reclusive and distant at first. Over a period of months, we've paid a lot of attention to her, stroking her beautiful fur and giving her a cozy "nest" in the blanket we put on our laps when when we're reading in one of our recliner chairs. She's truly opening her heart, which also opens our hearts.

As I thought about this, I realized that we all have "inner doors" that we open freely and not so freely, and it takes some time and reflection to open them.

If you're interested, you could reflect on your own experience of "opening a door" and how it transformed you, whether in a small or large way. Just take one step and psee what happens....

Here's a picture of Paloma (top) and her son, Mischa. They show us how to relax...

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