It was the door that first sold me on the Victorian house I now call home. Painted deep violet, a vivid hue punctuating a street lined with more sedate colonial colors. It was a little world-worn; fine lines etched into the surface revealed a web of sturdy amber pine,
The house we left–Jim’s home, for all of us–had a forest green wood door, solid and unbowed. A sparkling brass handle was Jim’s new touch; a brass lion head knocker, very slightly off kilter, had stood guard over the families within for more than two centuries.
I’ve wandered past black doors and white, wildly colorful, and every shade and texture in between. Cookie cutter sentries or one-of-a-kind creations. Modern chrome. Ancient hand-carved wood. Flimsy or quadruple-bolted and impenetrable. Dense opaque barriers. Swirling glimpses of color and movement beyond decorative bullet glass panels.
Eyes may be windows to the soul, revealing the nature and depth of what is within. Not necessarily so for doors.
A door may serendipitously appear as one’s gateway to a neighborhood (just as sparsely-used kitchens happen to have come with the places I’ve inhabited). But sometimes a door–meticulously maintained, bedecked with spider webs and flotsam from seasons past, or garlanded with fresh flowers–expresses a facet of the personalities within.
A door may not necessarily reveal anything about what lies beyond it, but its adornments often speak to what kind of person will be found within: a holiday wreath, natural or man-made, plain or ornate; a circle of seashells or eggs; fresh flowers; sedate and steady or pulsing lights; a stern “no trespassing” warning.
Doors may swish or click open with the touch of a button, or settle with a heavy metallic clunk. I remember the ease of stepping inside a hospital’s electronic doors….and the effort of getting back in beyond locked doors on patient floors and to a sequence of emergency room bays. I remember walking through series of doors with the people who had come to see Jim during his last hospital stay, and waiting outside his room door, gathering my thoughts in the cooler air.
The heavy wooden doors to Phillips Church, where my husband’s service was held. To the left, just next to the ornate iron hinges, was a narrow garden bed bearing a slim wooden stake holding the letters “LOVE.”