Doors are portals of transition. Here I stand poised to take on a new path. Very seldom do I know where or what the door will lead into. Even when I may think that I know where it will lead me to , it still may turn out to be different from what I envisioned.
It is not one crossroad but many: There is the personal fork in the road which leads me to the road less travelled, The profession path which peters and constricts as the scottish gorse of new rules and regulations on medical practices, not only choke the path but pricks the passerby in a thousand places.
We are on the funicular climbing the Cairngorn Mountain with ease. We reach the top and are spit out of the funicular and scatter like droplets in the wind. I run up the steel stairs looking for the terrace, which is supposed to look out on to the highest peak in Scotland. Half way up the steps is a landing on the left of which I find an open door. It is propped open with a rock and beyond it are the vistas of undulating peaks of unending promise. I am lured towards it like AliBaba who is at the door which opens into the the treasure trove.
It is an emergency door that can swing shut by itself. Given the freedom to roam the edge of the mountain and taste the grandeur without the protective railing or the hordes of people, I am secretly thrilled, yet I hesitate by the door. I step out enough to glimpse the curve of the mountain as it falls gently like a green and purple cape down to meet the glistening water of the loch.
A girl a third my age walks out to the edge with confidence looking around while her father holds the door. She hands me her camera with an opaque white cover with lateral extensions the shape of fins on either side and asks me if I would take a picture, I look through the lens and see the promise of the unending undulating, deceptively simple, peaks of these giant mountains, gentle in their look, covered with a mossy cloak and standing with each other in harmonious camaraderie anchoring the earth, the water and the forests with their reliable unmoving strength.
I return the camera to her. I have one courageous moment, and I step out knowing that this is an opportunity I may never have again. Meanwhile her father receives her and attempts to leave. I can see the rounded edge of the mountain in front of me with no railing and the possibility of the closing door behind me and realize I am neither equipped nor physically able to survive if left out on my own in the open no matter how stunning, refreshing and reviving the air and the vista.
As I am hesitating whether I should go in or to the edge to drink in the beauty, a safety marshal wearing neon colored vest comes and in a chiding voice herds us back onto the landing and shuts the door.
In the gloomy landing of the steel industrial style staircase I realize that I have been given a glimpse of the possibility of freedom and a vision of a whole wide world out there waiting to be explored and savored.
Standing in the landing with stairs going up to the restaurant and sideways to the funicular, I recognize that what just happened is and has been the story of my life.