Sadness is but a wall between two gardens

Life and death

“Sadness is but a wall between two gardens.” (Khalil Gibran)

Monday morning. I get up on my day off, it’s grey outside, Autumn is definitely at its best. I’ve had a great weekend, in fact, I’ve had a great year which is still continuing to get better. I am feeling tired but in a content way and start the day slowly. I am happy! My friend who is a photographer picks me up in the afternoon for a photo session. We do this every few years – mainly to produce gifts for friends and family – and it’s been a while, so I am looking forward to it. As Mr. Murphy and his law are calling me their friend, they make the sky even darker as we approach our destination and a drizzling rain starts when we get out of the car. But it does not matter! We are happy to spend some time together and my friend makes me laugh straight away by giving me instructions as if I was a model. The first part of our session is for business photos and I am still a bit tensed but manage to loosen up while we are “working”. When we are done, we drive to another place and I get changed into my colourful “fun clothes”. This part of the session is just pure fun. It is freezing cold but I jump around and we just laugh. I am happy!

He drives me home and I make my way straight into the bathtub because my hands and feet are numb from the cold. Afterwards I make dinner and prepare for a cozy night with happy thoughts. My phone beeps and I get a message from my downstairs neighbour saying “Do you hear the noise in the hallway?” I listen, I hear something beeping, people talking and every now and then a loud bang. So I just reply “Yes, is somebody moving in?”, which would not be anything unusual in this house. She tells me to have a look outside. Two ambulances are parked outside and all of a sudden I know what I am hearing – an attempt of resuscitation! I suspect straight away that it’s the lovely old lady two floors down. She is in her 80s and had not been well lately. Yesterday, she had said to her neighbour that she is tired and just wants to go. I feel strangely calm. It’s not that I am in any way close to this lady but you’d think something like this would freak you out. Another neighbour comes home but the doctors tell her to stay away until they have closed the lady’s front door. And before they do, I think I hear the flatline sound. Then it is quiet. One of the doctors goes to the ambulance and just sits there for a few minutes. Then they all leave without the lady. An hour later, the undertaker’s car pulls up. I stay away from the window because I do not want to see them take her away. I do wave good-bye to her though, silently. She has finally made it to the other side. Save journey, Mrs. S.!

I listen carefully to my inner voice. I am still happy. And I am so aware of my happiness because I have gone through quite some sadness over the past few years. – Two floors down a woman has just lost her mother and is in mourning. But I am sure she is also going through happy memories. – A few blocks away, my friends are celebrating the birth of their first baby. Years ago they mourned the loss of their first one. – Another friend is crying over a broken relationship. It ended after a few very happy years.

Life is like this – happiness and sadness happen at the same time, and all the time! And it is so important to experience both. In fact, you would not feel one without the other. I like Gibran’s garden metaphor. I believe there is a garden for everybody. Sometimes your wall is higher, sometimes it’s very easy to climb. But no matter how tight those walls are built around you – I believe there is always a way to get out. Do it!

Yours truly, madly, deeply!


All photos used in this blog are mine unless stated otherwise. Feel free to use them if you like, but be decent and link to this site!


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