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.
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?
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.