I drove into Penmark, Barry, Wales on an early evening in late October. I drove down these farm lanes wide enough for one car through the County of Barry. As I was getting close to The Old Barn Bed and Breakfast in Penmark, I hear on my mobile “In 200 ft. take your next left and you have arrived.” I am nervous that I do not pass the place and eagerly looking for the left. For whatever reason, I take a look in my rear view mirror and I notice ‘The Gate.’ I was immediately drawn to its’ presence. At that very moment in time, all stood still.
I snapped out of it, made my left, and I checked into my room. I was anxiously saying ‘yes’ to the hostess on everything. My mind was on that ‘Gate.’ I ran upstairs to my room, dropped all my luggage and gear, grabbed my camera and walked right over to ‘The Gate’ … touched, smelled, looked it all over, stood in silence, then I let my mind talk to me.
Why? Why does this ‘Gate’ hold a tight grip on my soul? Each day I visited, I sat and wondered ‘Why’? Why am I being drawn here each day? Is there a purpose that my first place to stay in Wales was cancelled and I found ‘The Old Barn?’ I think we can find a reason why any thing happens in our lives. It’s purpose. What ever forces were at work that day, I was drawn here to Penmark and to ‘The Gate.’ ‘The Gate’ serves a purpose to the town. It protects the Church Yard and the Grave Yard. The Church and Graves are surrounded by a stone wall and ‘The Gate’ lets them enter the sacred space at their will. ‘The Gate’ is always open, unlocked at all times to allow all to worship, give thanks, and talk to the resting. Allows them an entrance to have peace.
‘The Gate’ opens and it closes for people almost like ‘The Gate’ in my mind. My mind was open at one point in life, completely open. As life moved on and trauma entered into my life, I learned to create ‘The Gate’ and keep it closed. Closed tightly and locked as to not let danger enter. It kept harm away, it kept me safe, it kept me isolated… I only opened it when I felt sure no harm would take place and this was not often. This ‘Gate’ was strong and doing exactly what I had set it up to do, protect me!
I could not have created a better ‘Gate.’ Unfortunately for years it kept me away from peace of mind and from joy. It was always closed. No one else had the power to open, it was always my ‘will’. It was a ‘one way gate.’ The strongest and saddest of all ‘Gates’.
So why was I drawn here I asked? To learn that a ‘Gate’ swings both ways and to keep it unlocked. To allow others to enter freely and allow them the joy of what is inside me, Drew. Creating and keeping a ‘Gate’ closed serves no purpose other than to create isolation and the withering away of ones soul. It prevents others from the joy of knowing who one truly is and all the gifts they have been granted to share with others.
We all have simple, unexpected lessons given to us in life. All we have to do is open our eye. I am not talking about what we see with, I am talking about the one true eye, our soul. All we have to do is be open to them. ‘The Gate’ is now open.
You can view the entire gallery of photos for his piece here: https://drewfrederic.com/portfolio/the-gate-penmark-barry-wales/