Open every door

A garden doorway beckons in Mykonos, Greece 2008

A garden doorway beckons in Mykonos, Greece 2008

“Not knowing when the Dawn may come I open every Door…”  Emily Dickinson

When our eight-week-old Schipperke came to live with us nearly 16 years ago, I read everything I could find on the breed.  More than one source remarked “this dog does not like closed doors.”  Apparently the Schipperke has insatiable curiosity, a vigilant nature, and a great desire to be with people, so he much prefers to have run of the house…something most guidebooks advised against!

There is something appealing about these traits, though, and perhaps we humans should be fond of open doors as well.  Literally and figuratively, an open door can lead to new friends, a peaceful garden retreat or a pleasant room and warm hospitality.  As Dickinson notes in her poem, we don’t know when or where the light may break through in our lives, so avoiding despair will usually require being open to undiscovered possibilities.


  1. Courtroom drama often uses the metaphor: “Counsel has opened the door, Your Honor. . .”
    In the final analysis, there is only one door about which our decision (to open or keep it closed) really matters; and that is the door of Revelation 3:20.

    • Eric, that verse does give us a beautiful image. I also love the promise just a few verses prior to that, in Revelation 3:8: “I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut…” I’ve always thought that was an inspiring verse. The symbolism of those opening chapters is most intriguing, and they are so poetic I never tire of reading them.

  2. MaryAnn Clontz

    We are having a wonderful new experience leading a small group in our home. The “open door” is blessing us w/ more of God’s people to share life. The way God is using this time is indeed His work on Earth!
    Thank you, Beautiful Lady, for yet another reason to praise our Lord!
    I love you, MaryAnn

    • Mary Ann, I am so happy to hear that people are still enjoying your wonderful hospitality. I remember how much fun all the kids used to have with “Momba” at her historic home that was so beautiful. Thanks for keeping in touch! Love to you from all 3 of us but especially Matt!

      • MaryAnn

        One of my fondest memories of the Momba time at the old home is with the Dentons!
        I still have the wonderful photo of Matt & I setting in its prominent spot. (A treasured shot which, of course, you took & shared w/ me!)
        We both have beautiful smiles as we look at each other!
        He is my buddy AND I love him!
        People are the most important to our Heavenly Father!

        • Thanks Mary Ann, people are obviously the most important to you too! Thanks for spreading love and affection wherever you go.

  3. We just dealt with the sadness of putting our 16-year-old schipperke to sleep. But we have two more, one of them a less-than-2-year-old whirlwind. We love this breed! 😀

    • We do too! Pasha will be 16 in April, and in all these years I’ve only seen 2 Schipperkes, one of which was outside the USA. I’ve also seen a couple who were mixed breed with obviously some Schipperke. Pasha didn’t settle down until he was about 2, it was like having a toddler around. I don’t even want to think about losing him, but we know it won’t be too long (he’s being treated for heart failure). However, he’s still feisty and spirited, so we hope he has at least another year. Thanks for visiting, it’s great to hear from another Schipperke “parent.”

  4. Sheila

    Julia, isn’t it amazing what we can learn from our dogs, especially an older one that we’ve had for a long time. I am reading “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein. The story as told by a dog,deals with so many of life’s issues. I chose to buy it recently,as I want to understand my aging dog better. I’ve definely gotten my money’s worth! Sheila

    • Yes, Sheila, our dogs (and cats and other pets) do teach us so many things that we could learn in no other way. I will definitely have to look that book up! I always tell Jeff that he, the dog, and I are all getting old together! Tell us more about your dog. You may have mentioned her/him before, but it slips my mind right now. Thanks for being here!

  5. Sheila

    Julia, Salty is a 15 year old Boykin Spaniel (the official State of South Carolina breed). We do love the breed… he is our fourth Boykin. There is much information on line. He is camping with us,by the way! Sheila

    • Sheila, thanks so much! I had not heard of Salty before, nor of the breed, though I love dogs. I looked the breed up and they are beautiful – practical too! As quoted on the Boykin Spaniel Society page:”…a small rugged dog compactly built for boat travel and able to retrieve on land and water.” I’ll bet Salty adores camping! Thanks for the info.

      • Sheila

        Julia, we always tell our friends that Salty goes camping and let’s us go with him! Ha!Ha! Sheila

        • Sounds like my kind of dog!

  6. I love that, yes open as many doors as you can for the most fulfilling life you can dream of. I’m so glad I walked thru the Blogging door. It’s always so enlightening and joyful out here

    • One thing that’s nice about getting older is having a bit more freedom to explore for no other reason than discovery. In the first half of life we are focusing on the future and directing our energies toward building careers, families, savings accounts or whatever. I think midway through life the focus starts to shift away from planning for the distant future, which for me has been a blessing.

      • Midlife, yes here we are! Wow time fly’s by. It’s nice to finally be at a point in our lives where everything is a little more comfortable. I must still try to remember to open doors too.

    • And yes, forgot to add…the Blogging world has been a delightful surprise, definitely very joyful, at least in the neighborhoods I frequent!


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  2. Open every door | Defeat Despair

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