Thursday, July 2, 2015


WHEN ONE DOOR CLOSES . . . another door opens.
Do you find that’s true in your life? My honest answer would be, “Sometimes.”

Of course, it could be that the answer is truly “Always,” and I just don’t see the other door opening.

Or, I don’t connect the two events.

I tend to see the obvious Cause-and-Effect of happenings in my life. For example, when the youngest child left home after high school for college, the house was emptier than it had been. Obvious, you say. Yes, it is obvious; but  . . . why did I feel that my life was still full?

In most instances, my life is full. So when I’m asked to do “one more thing,” I have to view the full spectrum of my life and decide: What can I let go of in order to do the “one more thing” being asked of me?

The next question—actually, it should be the first question—is: do I really want to exchange the new thing for something already in my life that I enjoy? Or that I feel I have to do?
Here’s another question to ponder:
      How do I know when it’s time to let that door close? Or, to close it myself?
There’s a lot said and written about “going out at the top of your game.” Makes sense, don’t you think? We’ll leave a good impression of ourselves, or our accomplishments, or whatever we represented. Letting “new blood” take over is considered a good thing. “Passing the torch.” “Allowing fresh air in.”
Why do I not feel comforted by those attitudes and platitudes?
Sometimes, I believe, when one door closes, another one also closes. Take the example of the child going to college—even if that child comes home again to live for a while, she will be a different person simply because she’s been away. She’s rubbed shoulders with people from other walks of life. She’s been introduced to new thoughts, new ways of thinking; discovered authors and books that are foreign to the childhood life she’s leaving behind. Many new doors have opened for her.

True, she’s still my child. She always will be. But that isn’t the only identity she has, or will have. And she won’t go back to being the girl she was before she went to college.
Again, obvious.
The new door opening for me can be quite subtle—the child who went away to school comes home an adult in ways I never dreamed. She brings with her a maturity shaped by experiences I’ve not been part of in recent years. The young person is still there, recognizable, but now blossoming into someone new to me.
It’s like making a new friend—the kind you feel as if you’ve known all your life—and in this case, I have known her all her life.
There’s no neat answer, it seems, to the question I asked at the beginning: Do you find it’s true that when one door closes, another opens?
The metaphor itself—a door closing, another opening—is, I find, an expression of hope. The closing door represents something separated from us. The open door, somewhere else, beckons us. The underlying assumption is that what’s behind the open door will be better, or at least, attractive. Perhaps beneficial.
Yet I can’t help remembering the story of the lady and the tiger—if I remember it aright, the young man had to choose a door: behind one is a lady, who would be his wife; behind the other, a tiger who would take his life. And the story ends with the reader not knowing which the person chose.
The lesson in the story seems to be that not all open doors are going to offer us something we want. The young man in the story was in love with the king’s daughter, and she it was who indicated which door he should open—the lady behind one door was going to get the man the king’s daughter loved, but the tiger would devour him.
Think I’ll stick with the hopeful opening of another door. Let the lady and the tiger story be just a story, intriguing to read, but not offering me a lesson to live by.
When a door closes, I’ll look for another one to open. And you never know—it might just be a window!



  1. I enjoyed this. I'm partial to windows these days--not enough energy or brain-ambition for the doors!

  2. Windows are good...they let in light and air and fragrant flower smells and bugs......