My summer holidays with my grandparents were long months full of lovely moments, now memories. One of them being the wicket gate.
The wicket gate was a small rickety gate made of old wood, with strong bars running vertically in a rectangular frame. It was heavy and almost dug itself into the thick, sticky earth beneath it. I was a small child always prancing in the grounds. Despite my grandma’s censuring, I loved crossing over through the wicket gate into the woods that had so much to explore. It was a divine world full of colours – blue sky, floating clouds, plants full of flowers in different hues, small shrubs, big trees, flitting multi-coloured butterflies, flying birds, tinkling bells of the grazing cows and chirping crickets that I was surrounded by.
In that small world of mine, I had expanse and no bondage of time. I had no rules, I had nothing to conform to, I had sheer dominance of the space. In that silence there was abandonment. Away from the life of cause and effect, where love came with a cost and life ticked without remorse. Here I had so many friends who did not speak but communicated. There were the colourful flowers, the swishing trees with the leaves and branches, the mooing cows, the small frogs that croaked in the huge puddles of water created by frequent rains, and, of course, the tiny birds that hopped around the grass as I played along. They watched me, guarded over me and cheered me up.
Sometimes a sudden drizzle gave us company. Light winds with blankets of drops of water got me slightly drenched. The nose would run, eyes would become hazy with plenty of quick sneezes. I had no hanky and wiped my nose and face with my bare hands and little fingers. So very unhygienic but who cared? Life looked so vividly different then, as if through a kaleidoscope.
The wicket gate, however much heavy it was, always swung slowly shut. It divided my world in two. Whenever I crossed over to the other side, I felt I had left my body behind and only my soul walked through the gate. A child’s imagination which was so very alive, so akin to the universe and so very compassionate.
As I grew older, my visit to my grandparent’s majestic, beautiful farmhouse reduced with time. My visits to the wicket gate appreciably dwindled. But the wicket gate stayed vivid in my memory. In my mind, it still divides my world into two. The gate helps me to crossover to a world of my own, in my soul, in a domain where silence is the spoken word. Surrounded by peace and positivity that engulfs my being in a way that takes me back in time where I am a moppet playing in the woods that did so much for me, without my asking.
As George Bernard Shaw said, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” My world on the other side of my imaginary wicket gate helps me create the world that I wish to live in. Without hurt, loss, pain and negativity. A world of full of colours, joy and peace. Albeit for a while. But it just is my world, beyond my wicket gate. Unintruded and empathetic.