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The Closed Door
July 4, 2009

We were sitting outside on our patio, finishing off a bottle of Italian red, enjoying a beautiful Indiana summer evening when I finally gave up and said “let’s go to bed.” It was full daylight and we were both sound asleep, heads leaned back on our chairs. I shudder to think that some wayfaring mosquito may have met his death crawling into our fallen open mouths. At 8:00 P.M., we lay to rest the final visages of jet lag by sleeping the clock all the way around.

The first week back from vacation is always a tough one. After one “day off” to unpack and put away, do laundry, sort mail and pay bills, BF returned to work in full swing. I reminded him that he was not the only one with a tight schedule as I had to read an entire book, host my book club, attend yoga classes and return to my work-out schedule, connect with friends and family via 59 phone calls, and keep and appointment for a cut and color. And who says teachers have nothing to do in June?

Before we dozed off in our patio chairs, I asked BF “remember what we were doing one week ago today?” It was our final and most luxurious destination in Africa, the Mt. Kenya Safari Club. The locals were delighted by a much needed rainy afternoon and we took the opportunity to pamper ourselves in our cozy “mountain lodge meets five-star hotel” suite. One call to the front desk and a sweet little lady came carrying a small bundle of kindling which she used to skillfully light a fire in our fireplace. We enjoyed a bar of white chocolate and a bottle of red wine from the mini bar in our spacious living room before the masseuse showed up with her table to treat us to an afternoon massage. We had plenty of time for a leisurely bubble bath before meeting our friends for an 8:00 dinner.

Please be mindful to the fact that this type of luxury, for us, is atypical. In fact, when we arrived for checked-in on Thursday, we let ourselves into our room, looked around the bedroom, used the well appointed bath, checked out the view and excitedly ran off to meet our group for lunch. This place was great! Before we left the room, however, I made sure to secure the chain lock on the closed door that undoubtedly led to the bedroom of the guest next door. Over lunch, our friends were expressing excitement about their rooms and, of course, we joined in. Someone mentioned a fireplace. Fireplace? I didn’t notice a fireplace. Oh well, it didn’t really matter. We loved the room.

It was our fellow traveler and new friend from California who stopped by and instructed us to open the very door that I had locked to reveal and entire living room in which one wall was covered with, you guessed it, a massive fireplace. There was a writing desk, mini bar, and a whole extra living quarter. It was fully decorated with photos of William Holden and other stars who had called this place home back when it was a hunting club. Bet they didn’t need a friend to point out the living room and fireplace. BF and I chuckled at the thought that we might have stayed in that one room, perfectly happy, never discovering the luxurious living area behind that closed door and how our new friends must have laughed about the hill jacks from Indiana who didn’t even realize that the door was theirs to open.

Interesting. There has to be some metaphor for life here. Wonder how many times we have locked a door that was ours to open. How many times have we not been curious or experienced enough to open a door that may have revealed space, joy, even luxury?

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Debi Dixon

Debi Dixon

The Universe is guiding me on an incredible adventure: my Plan B. I write here to share bits of my Odyssey, hopefully to inspire, encourage, or extend the virtual hand of friendship.

When I quit teaching in 2014, I could never have imagined the growth I would experience through travel, writing, reading, therapy, and introspection.

I believe human connection and compassion will go a long way toward our healing, and the best way to connect and feel compassion for one another is through the sharing of our stories.

Thank you for joining me here. I appreciate you and may we grow together.

Inspirational Quote

“You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.”
~Joseph Campbell

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