I took this photo a few days ago. The fence has since then, been repaired and now stands proudly, and straighter, as a barrier between my private place and the public space. Now, when it gets warm again (it is cool, cloudy, windy and the air is saturated with forest fire smoke), I can spend more time, au naturel, in my sacred space.
So why do we build fences? Obviously, we begin to build fences around our frail ego as children so that life doesn’t overwhelm us. It’s a process that continues through youth and adulthood. Yet somewhere along the way, the fences begin to crumble – midlife crisis is the best example of that – and we are left exposed and vulnerable. The time has arrived to become more than the masks, costumes, roles, and associations we join. The time has come to take stock of what has been hidden and protected. The time has come to trust that we are strong enough to stand independently without fear of someone exposing our secrets – no secrets.
Yet, we fear taking on that self-authority. We fear being exposed. So, we retreat into the collective patterns build on fear, a collection of many individuals who feel safest while hiding their true, authentic self. And thus giving up our own authority, the collective shadow claims that authority. It is as though we have sold our souls to the Devil who we hope will somehow leave us alone as we grow old and die.