2007 - A Lonely Gate With No Fence Around ©

by J.R. Beatty

Lonely "Heart Gate" No Fence Around
Lonely "Heart Gate" No Fence Around

Just a little gate, just steel and twisted chain link, not fancy wood or metal bars or even clean plastic. Just weathered grey-painted steel with wild vines and moss curling in and around its metal links with more Spanish Moss hanging from nearby shady oak trees. (Click on photos)

No attached fence around, no well kept-up yard behind it, no family or kids playing there, no home there at all anymore! I wonder what happened to the home and folks that once lived here?

Just a lonely and unused and unappreciated gate left as an inadvertent memorial to the past with no name or any description to explain "WHY?".

As I ponder on the reason that this gate was still here and captured in my photograph and in my consciousness, I conclude the gate could represent the lonely "heart gate" of many American folks who are no longer young or all-stars or well known celebrities or rich icons with lots of fair-weather friends.

No jobs, failing health, chidren leaving home, few reasons to keep on trying to matter, feeling irrelevant in this world, .... Their strong, good fences once protecting and guiding these folks’ lives, may no longer be there.

The weeds and gray moss of hard life may have grown up and infested into their very being. They may be lonely and a little scared of what comes next.

All these folks of whom this forgotten gate reminds me may really only need a loving, truly caring human touch. Could you be, will you be the special one to care and begin to act positively to them today?

Wild Vine Berries
Wild Vine Berries

Suddenly I saw something else that drew me to this lonely gate picture. Do you see it? Look close at the blown up photo. At first I thought they were small purple flowers. No, just a small, hard-to-spot, insignificant clump of purple, wild vine berries. Are they edible, sweet, or sour? Are they the first harbinger of spring or the last precursor of coming cold, dead winter?

Again, I see that little clump of purple weedy vine berries. Could it be that even in the unwanted, neglected, and lonely people, there is a tiny, lovely, normally unseen part that just needs some water, lots of bright Florida sunshine, and a growth-giving fertilizer - like a human touch of love and assistance - to grow larger, more edible, and much sweeter.

I would like to think that the next time I go by this location, I will actually see a lovely white cottage home shining there, kids playing safe in a well-kept yard, and a strong, new chain-link fence encircling and protecting it all. And, of course, with that same old-but-still-functional, lonely gate, all spruced up and ready to open its heart invitingly to others.

I also want to see hundreds of juicy purple berries and vibrant vine flowers running in and through that gate and along the entire new fence. Can you see these good things happening in your minds-eye, too?

A lonely "heart gate", no longer?!