Neilah, Seeking the Gates

Gates, thresholds to sacred places, passageways...


Would I know them if I passed them by?

Will they be made of gray stones wizened with age....
   or stones of gold washed warm by the sun?
Perhaps they stand strewn with roses and open to the air,
   or completely overgrown with ivy...
Will the gates be locked by wooden door, keyhole crusted with rust,
   key hidden in an ancient unknown place?



Will they be guarded by angels with flaming swords or
   beings blowing silver trumpets?
Or will overgrown bushes cover them and I'll pass them by,
   the gates remaining unseen?

Must I storm them seasoned by years of questing, or
  will they swing wide open only by a slight touch of a fingertip or
     rustling longing of soul?

Need I proof of travel, a secret password, or
  will someone be waiting for me to come, on the lookout...
     and call out my name,
      beckoning me to enter, just as I near?


Is there only one entry and will it look the same to all?

Do entries change from year to year, last year's closed to me now?
  Will they reveal themselves to me only when I stop looking... or
     will they appear mirage-like from the distance? 

Will I meander through, saunter in as if by mistake?
 Will I miss it entirely by rushing before the night's tides shift?
   Will angels sing to me, throwing me a key, a hand guide me, clasping mine,
     and at the last minute...draw me safely to harbor?

I stop at the well, unveiled to Hagar,
  where Abraham strove, and
    Jacob lifted rock...
      which followed Miriam...
        looking for clues to gates and mysteries...



I look down into the waters,
  perchance... to catch a glimpse
    of a gates reflection in its depths...

Nothing is where I think it is.

Every time I seek,
  what I find is in another spot.


In letting go,
  my way is lit by stars of fire...
    and chariots carry me to gardens scented with apples and
     guarded by gates
       opened by doves...

The night's drawing closed like a curtain...

So open wide the gates...
  and let the light shine on my path.
   that I might find my way,
    that I might my way find,
      to wholeness
        once again...


Photography Credits

First photograph: Kathy Berendt
Second photograph: Vicki Hollander
Third photograph: Frank Dobrushken