"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A beckoning, four days til Christmas

Gate to new journey, watercolor card
Gates beckon the imagination to new journeys, especially on the Great Plains where you can't see over the next hill or around the bend. Like a well-worn path, they hint of a new adventure, of a place to discover, of possibilities. They're the opposites of urban "gated" communities, or gates at military bases that scream "Stay out, you're not welcome."
Christmas is one of those inviting gates, from the original, to our present gatherings of families and friends where joy and memories and tears flow freely. It is surely a sin at any time, and especially in this season, to lock the gate of hospitality and love. I'm reminded of the chorus to an old Gospel song.
"Inside the gate (just inside the gate), inside the gate (just inside the gate)
I'm home (just inside the gate), sweet home (just inside the gate)
No more to cry (just inside the gate), no more to die (just inside the gate)
A crown of life  (just inside the gate), you have won (just inside the gate)
You're safe at last (just inside the gate), your sorrows past (just inside the gate)
A mansion here (just inside the gate) forevermore (just inside the gate)
Yes I'll admit (just inside the gate), I'm heaven sent (just inside the gate)
When I step (when I step inside) inside the gate (the pearly gate)"

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