Sunday 7 March 2010

Setting out with stile

This is (I think) a British Standard wooden step stile with 4 rails to provide a higher barrier against livestock! Having said that, the field on the other side of this stile was definitely planted with some kind of crop, though I can't remember what!

I like stiles; all kinds! They always make me think of walks and days out and countryside and holidays and fresh air and boots and friends and rhythm. A gate is a barrier, while a stile is an opportunity; calling to me to come, climb over, set out on a journey, discover what's round the next corner.

I love the analogy of life as a journey. As we travel, new horizons are revealed, circumstances change, people journey with us for greater or shorter distances. Nothing is static for long. Life is much more fluid. My hope is that I will, ultimately, journey in such a way that I can echo the words of Paul the Apostle:
I have run the good race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4 v 7

I must be in a literary mood at the moment, because here is another quote to close. It's really referring to stepping out of your own front door, but I always associate it with stiles and footpaths.

The road goes ever on and on,
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the road has gone
And I must follow if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

The Lord of the Rings. J.R.R.Tolkein Vol 1: The Fellowship of the Ring - Bilbo's song.

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