The archway

As a child I was lucky enough to live in a house with a garden. In this garden was a steel archway strung with foliage. In the springtime, when the leaves were thick and white flowers bloomed, my sister and I would run through the archway like it led to our own secret garden. Through and back, through and back. But in the winter, when the leaves had fallen and only skeletal sticks remained, we would avoid the arch as though it were the haunted entrance to a vampire’s lair.  

When asked to write a post about beginnings and endings, my thoughts turned towards this archway. Not because it signalled any kind of ending for me, but because it is an entry and an exit both. To walk under an archway is to leave something behind and enter something new; to end and begin simultaneously. Isn’t this the nature of all endings and beginnings? Where one thing ends, another begins.  

The archway analogy has helped me to understand that beginnings and endings are not separate – they are joined. Just as an archway is both an entry and exit, so too there is a threshold that connects beginnings and endings.  

If this is the case, isn’t life just a series of archways positioned one after the other? We run through some of them like delighted children, excited to discover the adventures beyond. But other archways we are more hesitant to embrace, afraid of the vampires that lurk on the other side.  

What other metaphor can you think of that represents the complex nature of beginnings and endings? Write a short story or poem about it to submit to the 2023 USYD Anthology.