Only the beginning

Carved into stone, a narrow but passable gate.  The Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, March 2013

Carved into stone, a narrow but passable garden gate. The Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, March 2013

“The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.”Ivy Baker Priest

Over the past 18 months, I’ve gotten a lot of practice at re-framing how I think about things.  I’ve had to do quite a bit of that for most of my life, but never as much as recently.  It simply doesn’t work for me to see obstacles as dead ends; I start to panic and the anxiety blossoms into multiplied worries and fears, the agitation feeding on itself.

At such times I’ve learned to force myself to switch off the negativity, re-directing my thoughts through prayer, reading or other distractions.  Yet I don’t want to be delusional, kidding myself about what we might be facing in the future.  I don’t want to be blinded by wishful thinking or unprepared for a steep uphill climb.

It helps to focus primarily on the immediate path ahead, with all its unexpected detours and narrowed options.  We may not be traveling the exact itinerary we had planned, but as long as we can see a few feet ahead, that’s enough.  Each threshold we pass through is another beginning, and so far the way has been blessed with abundant beauty no matter how rocky the path gets.

So we travel on in hope, still enjoying the trip.  I hope you are able to do the same in your life. Thanks for walking with us!

One year ago today:

Teach your moods

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. Judy from Pennsylvania

    I love this photo and am hugely impressed by the artistry of the rock gate. Skillfully and beautifully done!

    Coming from the past year of pandemic hardships, and my own 1st covid vaccination a few days ago, that gate looks to me like a symbolic passageway to an upcoming springtime of better days ahead! Cherry blossoms, flowers, walkways to explore! I can hardly wait to get out in the world again — maybe we can meet you in Lititz Park for a picnic sometime!

    • Judy, let’s plan on that. Lititz was maybe our favorite part of the trip Jeff and I enjoyed for the last-ever anniversary trip we were able to take together, and I’d love to go back. Here’s hoping that gate really will have symbolic meaning for all of us.

  2. I like that keyhole gate. Passing through it “unlocks” a new experience.

    • It is a striking work, isn’t it? And most tourists miss it completely, since it is “off the beaten path” and tucked away in one of the less-traveled areas of the Smithsonian grounds.

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