All gates

This must be the most purely symbolic gate I've ever seen. Captiva , Florida, January 2013

This must be the most purely symbolic gate I’ve ever seen. Captiva, Florida, January 2013

“The world is all gates, all opportunities, strings of tension waiting to be struck.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

One of the best ways to defeat despair is to see the opportunity that lies in almost every situation.  When I am able to view a difficult time as a gateway to something new, I am better able to tolerate the sadness, grief or frustration that can too easily take over my thoughts.

I love the idea of “strings of tension waiting to be struck.” It made me ponder how stringed instruments can only make beautiful music if the strings are tense.  It’s the action of contacting the tension that creates the sound. Too much tension, of course, will snap the strings and damage the instrument.  But it takes just the right amount to enable the instrument to do what it was designed to do.

Perhaps there’s a symbolic lesson for us here.  While we all love the times of relaxation, we usually need a bit of tension or urgency to kick us into a productive, energetic mode.  Next time your day is fraught with tension and frustration, think of the beautiful music that can be produced when strings are tensed.  Think of the gates that are open to you, inviting you to walk forward into new opportunities.

Today, I wish you eyes that are opened to the gates in your world, and the opportunities to make beautiful music with your tension.

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Good morning, Julia!
    There’s something very “feng shui” about this photo. I wonder if that was the objective of the artist that placed the gate just there.
    Did you open the gate?
    Love and blessings to you and Matt!

    • I think it was very probably the intention, or close to it. It was obviously intended to be more decorative than functional. I don’t remember whether I opened the gate or not but knowing myself, it seems almost certain that I would have at least tried to open it and walk through it. Sending you love and blessings right back! I was just thinking today, it seems like forever since you were here. Things (I hope) look a good bit different now. The wisteria is growing rapidly over the pergola and my trees and plants have grown substantially, especially the roses…

      • Yes, time is flying by!
        My plan is to stay home as much as possible until it’s safer to travel again.
        I figure I can always do things “later” if I can live that long….🙃

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