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Every day we open and close doors to our homes, our cars, places of work, institutions, family, and friends. Do we notice the variety of the doors: hinged, folding, sliding, rotating up and over, some with locks and some without? Does crossing their threshold alter our energy?

Such questions must have influenced the earliest reproductions of both the single and double doors depicted upon walls of Egyptian tombs in the Nile Valley. Here, the door symbolizes an area, closed off from the profane, similar to later ornamental doors found on mosques, monasteries, cathedrals, and temples, orienting the worshiper toward its mysteries within. Even the doors of home are sacred. The Archeological Museum in Naples displays a set of Roman folding doors from a first century AD estate in Pompeii that was ruined by Mount Vesuvius.

However, there is another door closer to home, the door to our hearts; its challenge is to become aware of it, then pause before opening it to who or whatever is attracting us. With instincts activated, discernment is critical. In the in-between space, questions surface: Are lesser motives obscuring their toxicity? Is neediness demanding to be satiated? Who will benefit? What will I learn if I act? Or give in? Perhaps “No” is the wisest response when clarity is an issue. Such practice deepens humility and opens the psyche to spiritual guidance, without which we stagnate.

Thus we thrive in our flawed humanness and bring our unique gifts to fruition among others—the purpose of our existence.

 

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A solitary cardinal alighted on the plank fence in my back yard, then zoomed down upon the winter-ravaged grass; its redness quickened my heart, plunged me into stillness. I continued watching. Like a wise professor attired in scarlet robes, it discerned the next step and took it boldly. Then it was gone. I had been visited and I knew it. Rather than resume my work in the kitchen, I savored this intrusion.

The cardinal’s fiery presence recalled images of Christ Pantocrator (the Lawgiver), rendered in mosaics or frescoes, which still adorn domes and apses of medieval Eastern Orthodox churches. The dark outlines of Christ’s iconic eyes, his red tunic, his left hand holding the jeweled book of the New Testament, his right hand raised in blessing—Such was the demonstrable power that had inflamed the imaginations of worshipers, huddled below in the nave, whispering their prayers. Such moments sustained their lives of hardship until the next Mass.

Such still has the holding power to thwart evil, with its allure of dark power. Willingness to follow its sway freshens us with loving care and protection.

 

Seems to me that our hearts were fashioned to sing.

Consider the harmonics of the spheres throughout the universe. Consider the strains of a spirited melody, whether in a concert hall or a sports venue that catches our breath. Consider, also, how a ditty will seize our imagination and seed our energy with fresh purpose.

My sister Martha put me up with one that still works: “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Zip-A-Dee-A” – Such are the opening lyrics in this 1947 Academy Award for the Best Original Song from Song of the South. Uncle Remus, the film’s storyteller/handyman employed on a plantation in Reconstructionist Georgia, sings this ditty while interacting with animated creatures during a summer walk. Such gyrations start the feet a-tapping—and much more.

“Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Zip-A-Dee-A” trips off the tongue and opens the psyche to the realm of play. Here, nothing is taken seriously because of unflagging trust in God, source for the “… wonderful day!” and “…the warming sunshine…heading my way!” Even Mister Bluebird on his shoulder concurs: “It’s the truth. It’s actual. Everything is satisfactual!”

And such it is, no matter what happens. It’s all about trust in God’s protection and care, disguised, this time, as a bluebird.

The challenge is to find our own bluebird and listen to its song.

 

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