Throwing the doors wide open
It’s a beautiful June morning, and the doors and windows ask to be thrown open to birdsong and green. I am filled with absurd gratitude for green, for birdsong, for having doors that I can open wide without fear of burglary or pollution.
After my mother died, a long time ago now, my father suddenly became older and more fragile. His careful looking after all of us became more focused and, living alone, he tightened up security and kept all the doors locked when he was inside. Doors had security bolts top and bottom as well as keys. The house became hot and airless.
That day, we were moving him to a smaller house near my brother, emptying the family home of surplus furniture and of all the things he’d saved in case “they might come in useful”.
I made an evening meal and was about to set the table in the small dining room. Outside it was a beautiful summer evening. We were behind two sets of locked glass doors. I could not do it anymore.
I found all the keys in their hiding places, unlocked security bolts, and threw the doors open. We lifted the dining table and chairs out on to the lawn – for over 30 years, they had never left their ‘proper place’ in the dining room. It took a few minutes to change things, and decades.
We ate our meal in the light, under the sky, with fresh air and space. We could breathe.
I was so happy that I had seen the possibility and acted on it. It felt as if, for a brief moment, I had released my father’s fears and my memories of how cramped I had felt as a teenager in that space. As an adult, I had come back and opened the doors.
The moral of the story is yours to find.
For me, it became a painting.
I’d love to hear how it resonates with you. Tell us in the Comments below.