Saturday, December 31, 2011
I am running out of wrought iron gates bequeathed to me by daughter Michelle’s unfailingly apt photography. Luckily this last remaining one, also from somewhere in France, serves my purpose well today.
We set symbolic boundaries to time’s vast flow. They resemble this remnant in a way. This gate probably dates back at least to the nineteenth century. It can’t deny the intruder passage. The wall itself is eroded, broken, and if we wish to reach the rich, green, shaded future, we need but step around this would be barrier. That much more modern-looking little sign affixed to the old rusting gate intrigued me for quite a while. Finally I succeeded in reading it. Attention au chien, it says. Beware of the dog. But the dog is also gone, no doubt. The wall cannot contain it. It ran away anno long ago. We pass into the coming year as easily as falling fast asleep. But the sign still serves a purpose. It reminds us, as we pass: Beware, beware!