My walk this morning has led me to Marine Street, which I take north till it ends at Bridge Street. At that intersection, I pause to decide whether to turn east toward the harbor or west toward the Lincolnville district, each direction a pleasant walk with its own distinct merits. As always, while waiting for some sign to make my choice, I am drawn to the concrete wall that faces me and encloses the grounds at Number 15 on the north side of Bridge Street. It is a high wall, six feet or so; ornate and old – blackened-with-moss old; wood-rotting, red-paint-peeling-door old. Flora, no longer tended, tests its boundaries. This side of the door, flowers have escaped the confines of their pots and have breached the straight edges of the red and white bricked entry way. From the other side, a few pink hibiscus flowers on a couple of rogue flag-pole straight branches make their debut, and a lone vine slithers over the wall’s top.
Something influences me to turn left toward the water today and I do. Ahead, I can see oranges and yellows mixing in the eastern sky with the sun just now beginning its rise over Anastasia Island across the bay. The winds are light, so if I am lucky when I reach the sea wall, the sailboats and their masts will be reflected in the still harbor waters, always a delightful sight at the end to a good morning walk.
Still, I wonder – as I wonder each time after turning this way or the other upon reaching Bridge Street – what would have happened had I first crossed to the other side of the road and tried the latch on that old red gate door; and what would have happened had the latch clicked and I pushed on the door and it actually opened; and what would I have seen on the other side of that gate then?