Pascal Derrien

10 months ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility ~100 ·

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Open The Gates

Open The Gates


I quite like the symbolic of the door. Doorways, openings or gates have always had a great significance . Gateways offer transition, a point of change , sadness, melancholy, loss or even hope. As a kid one gate in particular had a profound impact on me. While I was not in a position to verbalize it for a long time I have somehow always known of its profound impact because it always triggered a range of unprecedented emotions.

June 1976, this is the second summer I am shipped over to my maternal grandparents for three months. We are 10 miles away from the stud farm. Will there be any new horses joining Kamela the mare, would my grandmother make her legendary stuffed tomatoes (my favourite), how many races has my grandfather won this year, has my tree house resisted the harshness of the Normandy winter?

As we are getting closer I recognize the house at the junction, they have not done much work on it but the porch is completed now. My grandfather knows the people who live in it but I have never met them. He says they are all right and I trust grand da. Just one kilometre away now. The large trees swing their heads on both sides of the road as we enter the final leg of our summer procession.

The gates are here, in the excitement I find myself asking a fundamental question: are the gates bigger or smaller than last year? I remember thinking it was funny to have gates who are always open. The road to the mansion consists of a one kilometre uphill track, half tarmacadam and half gravels. Its not an immaculate path but its neat. 

There are a few potholes too proving if needed be that the rigour of the westerly winter frost is more than just small talk between two elderly neighbours. As we pass the gates I turn back and look at the entrance from a different angle almost as if I wanted to hurriedly capture those seconds for ever.

I remember that tree. I remember the promise I have made to myself the last time I left. I had made a faithful pact with nature that I would say hello to Timmy the tree as a gesture of gratitude. The adult in me would probably call it a significant breakthrough. I guess at 7 or 8 it was just a way to provide myself some reassurance that I would be back sheltering my chaotic and stormy living conditions into less choppy waters. 

I always took as many photographic memories as I could. It was like I wanted to suck up the entire landscape in my memory bank. Memories that I could revisit at my leisure when stuck into a basement fleeing drunken verbal abuse or on a run out of harm’s way.

This is the summer now and I am safe for a while .




Pascal Derrien Copyright 2020

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Comments

Pascal Derrien

9 months ago #29

#29
thanks Louise :-)

Louise Smith

9 months ago #28

How poignant

Pascal Derrien

9 months ago #27

#26
ah thank you Fay Vietmeier I have not written much the last 12 months but slowly getting back to it at least there is one decent line :-)

Fay Vietmeier

10 months ago #26

Javier \ud83d\udc1d CR Thank you for sharing Pascals buzz .. it was your share that brought me here ;~) Wishing you and your beautiful family a Peace-full Wonder-full Christmas.

Fay Vietmeier

10 months ago #25

Pascal Derrien I have not read all your posts Pascal .. but this one will stick with me. Well done my bee-friend. I share this hoping people pause & walk through the gate with you .. to their own self-discovery Like Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic .. this line stood out: "As we pass the gates I turn back and look at the entrance from a different angle almost as if I wanted to hurriedly capture those seconds for ever."

Fay Vietmeier

10 months ago #24

Harvey Lloyd So well said Harvey "there is something majestic how in our youth we find those peaceful places that ride with us the rest of our life."

Pascal Derrien

10 months ago #23

#23
many thnaks so great to see you here I have been quiet for a while. Season greetings as they say :-)

🐝 Fatima G. Williams

10 months ago #22

Hey Pal, Pascal Derrien Trust I find you jolly good this holiday season. Compliments of the season. You always have some great stories to share, loved this one as always.

Pascal Derrien

10 months ago #21

#20
thanks Greg Rolfe for dropping by I really appreciate your thoughts :-)

Greg Rolfe

10 months ago #20

Pascal Derrien, excellently written. It is easy to hear your young self as you looked forward to your summer.

Pascal Derrien

10 months ago #19

#18
thanks Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic for your kind words I am glad it resonated with you :-)

Lada 🏡 Prkic

10 months ago #18

I enjoyed reading your story, Pascal. It made me very emotional. The moment you passed the gates and turned back to look at the entrance from a different angle has a somewhat symbolic meaning to me. As always, you have chosen the lyrics of the song that fits the story. :)

Pascal Derrien

10 months ago #17

#16
many thanks Debasish Majumder :-)

Debasish Majumder

10 months ago #16

lovely buzz Pascal Derrien! enjoyed read and shared. thank you for the buzz.

Pascal Derrien

10 months ago #15

#11
many thanks dropping a comment, its very much appreciated Amit Janco :-)

Pascal Derrien

10 months ago #14

#10
Indeed Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador I know they can be a bit of a cliche but to me they are an integral part to the rythmn of life...

Pascal Derrien

10 months ago #13

#9
thanks John I think it is rather fitting and the Talking Heads reference too :-)

John Rylance

10 months ago #12

#10
No doubt going through thegate singing/humming the Talking Heads "We're on our way to nowhere"

Amit Janco

10 months ago #11

There's such a sweetness to these stories of nostalgia: À la recherche du temps perdu. Your last paragraph was particularly and personally evocative...

Nice post Pascal Derrien. Gates have always been fascinating to me, especially the ones that lead to nowhere.

John Rylance

10 months ago #9

#6
The gate to Nature is a gate to Heaven. Im not sure who said this, but it seemed apt.

Pascal Derrien

10 months ago #8

#6
thanks Harvey Lloyd I was watching Heartland a Canadian show with my daughter recently and it reminded me of just that Heart Land :-)

Pascal Derrien

10 months ago #7

#5
thats a good one Zacharias :-)

Harvey Lloyd

10 months ago #6

My summers on the farm were very similar, gates, tobacco and cows. The gates kept the farm animals out of grandmas flowers, didn't work for the grandkids though. Great piece, and there is something majestic how in our youth we find those peaceful places that ride with us the rest of our life.

Zacharias 🐝 Voulgaris

10 months ago #5

#3
What about Bill Gates? :-)

Pascal Derrien

10 months ago #4

#3
Thanks Ken I knew I would not manage to gate away with it :-)

Ken Boddie

10 months ago #3

Big gates, small gates, steel gates, wooden gates, I love gates. Gates swing! 👍

Pascal Derrien

10 months ago #2

#1
salted melancholy :-) thanks Joyce

Sadly sweet

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