The Gate by Sara Wright

Unaccustomed to joy

his kindness

barely torched

 her cells still

under fierce attack

from too

many anti –bodies.

What registered was

quick – silver shining

a clasp so easily undone…

  A golden sun

illuminated two

 leaf strewn paths

 gilded in bronze.

  Welcomed by Hemlocks

  at Mary’s House ,

 she conjured


 a creeping vine 


    mossy granite boulders,

    crimson berries on display.

He couldn’t know that 

his act of


opened a floodgate

  to hope.

 Below, the river eyed

an orange clad hunter

stalking his prey

with outright suspicion.

 The stars that night

 repeated the story…

Orion pursues the Great Bear

on her Spiral Journey

 until he slips beneath

the horizon

for another year.

Partridge Berry

In many ancient and some extant goddess traditions November is considered to be “the space in between”.  In the Celtic tradition the old year comes to a close with All Hallows and the Feast of the Dead, a three day festival that ends with All Souls day on November 2nd. The new year doesn’t begin until winter solstice…

During this dark month a starry firmament wraps her cloak around us. This is a time to reflect and dream, to create intentions, to let go of what is no longer needed. It is a time to acknowledge and deal with rage and sorrow, limitations, aging, illness, the loss of family and friends – I could go on and on here. If we can lean into this month with an open yet wary heart new insights illuminate the night and this is my cyclic intention for this month. Not to get caught by extremes, or to act out dark feelings, but to own and take responsibility for them as best as I can.

November is a double-edged month. Hunters abound. Stars spiral around the night sky telling an ancient story of the hunter and his prey, perhaps highlighting that relationship between the two is part of ‘all there is’. The fact that humans project this story onto the stars suggests this pattern has persisted for millennia and involves all life, and all species, at least those on earth. I am so grateful to be learning to accept this cycle for what it is.

When I wrote this poem it was to honor the kindness of one man who literally created a gate through which I could pass in order to reach Mary’s House, my refuge. It wasn’t until afterwards that it occurred to me that this incident occurred during the first week of November just after All Soul’s day. Or that in more than one sense a gate had become permeable, and I had been invited to come and go at will … I want to stay awake to what is – embracing gratitude and grief in equal measure. I lean into the darkness with gratitude, believing my grief opens me to greater compassion for myself and for others, while taking deep pleasure in the low light and long shadows, crystal raindrops on bare trees, and the slow rise of the sun…


Sara is a naturalist, ethologist (a person who studies animals in their natural habitats) (former) Jungian Pattern Analyst, and a writer. She publishes her work regularly in a number of different venues and is presently living in Maine.

Author: Sara Wright

I am a writer and naturalist who lives in a little log cabin by a brook with my two dogs and a ring necked dove named Lily B. I write a naturalist column for a local paper and also publish essays, poems and prose in a number of other publications.

7 thoughts on “The Gate by Sara Wright”

  1. This is beautiful. Yes, there is definitely something magical about November. I was just thinking that a few days ago when the sunlight was coming through the trees with their red and yellow leaves and casting a gold glow over the whole landscape. We just need to invite the magic in!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. YES, I have come to love this month with its long shadows and low light that streams through bare trees… this is also the month I begin to honor all the evergreen trees on this earth. With winter cold and the coming snow forest green remains… these trees speak to endurance over the long winter and I love each one!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I think November is my favorite month, partly because the weather is cooler, partly for the magical and mystical and mythological events you describe. How good that the man created the gate for you! Bright blessings.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. This IS beautiful, also very helpful in terms of dealing with my own struggles at this time of year. I love those last couple of sentences especially. “I want to stay awake to what is, experiencing gratitude and grief in equal measure. . . .” Sound advice! Thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Beautiful poem Sara. I am so drawn to two concepts you highlight: Gates and paradoxes. I have been playing with the concept that it is in gateways or thresholds that we are offered the opportunity to reconcile opposites. How do we live with both gratitude and grief? How do we live with both hunters and starry nights? I love your realization that the actions of hunter and prey have memorialized in the sky. A lot there to muse on.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Ah Janet you ask the same questions I have been asking for years and it is truly amazing how we are able to reconcile these paradoxes in the strangest ways – I don’t pretend to know how this happens I only know that it does and that asking the right questions is KEY….. As for gates – hmmm I have been fascinated by them because they are thresholds to a different way of being…

    Liked by 2 people

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