The Door, the Gate, the Arch: A Lesson in Trying the Lock

Along the road in Edinburgh

I have a rule.  When I see a door or a gate in an appropriately mysterious/magical setting, I must see if it opens.  And if it does, I must step through, even if it is only for a moment.  I was out on a walk with a friend in the streets of Edinburgh this past weekend and had to explain my reasoning behind this.  I think my friend now understands and I hope that you will too.

If you’ve read The Silver Chair, you remember how Eustace and Jill are running from a pack of fiendish little school children and they come upon a door in the garden that is always locked.  They tried it anyway.

And if you’ve read the book, you know exactly what trying it anyway meant for them.

The ruins of St Anthony's Chapel in Holyrood Park

A door in a wall, a gate in a hedge, or an archway leading into a quiet, green garden always seem to me to be filled with potential.  They might just lead to a road, a garden, or some other simple, natural place, but I always think that one of those doors might, at that exact moment in time, be something a little more special and could actually open up on someplace a lot more magical.  If Aslan called you to Narnia and you ignored the chance he gave you because the door was clearly locked, wouldn’t that be a sad, sad thing?

Near New College, Edinburgh

A door, or gate, or arch is by its very nature a passage from one place to another.  With just a little magical help, one of those passages could become a portal to somewhere beyond this world.  I imagine that in every door’s heart is that secret hope that it might become more than just a way to get from one normal place to another.  What gate wouldn’t want to lead someone to another world?

So when I see a door in a wall that looks locked, I give it a little push.  I try the gate.  I step through the arch.  These things are filled with possibilities and they should never, ever be ignored.

At Aberdour Castle

3 thoughts on “The Door, the Gate, the Arch: A Lesson in Trying the Lock

  1. I love doors! Whenever I travel, I snap pictures of various doors, windows, and arches. There is something curious and like you said, an air of possibility surrounding them. Your pictures are gorgeous! 🙂

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