Gate, Gate, Paragate

So many trails before me today. One curl of trail called particularly, and when I spied a gate beyond it on the far ridge, my feet began to move almost of their own accord, so I made it my destination.

Some would say I have sat on the fence all my life.

That looked like a problem until I realized I am a Gatekeeper.

Where else is there to sit?

Arriving at the gate, I climbed its rungs, not to venture beyond it (along the road I found there); just because it asked to be climbed. And there I sat…on a gate upon a mesa, by a road I could not name.

I sat in the fragrant company of a cedar abristle with a rugged and earthy fecundity almost unsettling to me. I am still a neophyte at embodiment it seems; not flower but pollinator, and for a more rarified seed. Something in my instrument fears its filters will be clogged by such thick, sticky and unabashed prolificacy.

I sit on this gate, content to survey a landscape, a townscape, offering more questions than answers. But from this distance, on this gate, I know all I need to.

Lizard and moth pass through and under the gate, oblivious to its function. But I am content to stop here, to climb it, not go beyond it, to sit on this gate, by this road without a name.

I ask a passing cyclist, “What road is this?” A pause while she considers and passes behind me, so I must swivel my head 220 degrees to catch her answer over my other shoulder.

“Buckman. …?” she says with a question in her tone.

“Okay.” I say, because it really doesn’t matter.   She rides on some yards, but I feel her turn back, and I look to greet her approach.

“That’s not right,” she says, because to some folks truth still matters. “Buckman is over there,” pointing with full length of arm. “This one is something like ‘Rio….Vista?’” Again, an upturned sentence, leaving room for error.

“Does it let out onto 599?” I inquire further, as if it matters. She hedges her bets, not certain, but reassures me there is probably a way to get there from here.

“No worries,” say I, “Just curious. I can look it up,” with little intention to do so, only to put her at ease.

   And off she rides, having done her best, in case it mattered. And leaving me pleased that she was riding a road she could not name. Some roads are named for their destination; some for the experience they offer (Rio Vista, for instance). And this was a road of decent pavement, graceful curves and scant traffic; just a road connecting other roads, for a ride without a particular destination. What mattered on this road was not the name, but the experience.

I mused that the road I’m on does not tell me its name, but it feels like a good road. And even as gatekeeper, I cannot tell you what is on your road beyond this gate; but I know it is good.

The city before me, the litter at my feet, it all looks good from here. Because nothing is bad when you sit on the fence….if you are a gatekeeper.


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