As Livia eased the door open, a warm, woodsy fragrance wafted out. Melaia wondered if choosing to enter this place would be her last act of freedom. She took a deep breath and let Livia usher her inside with Pym. The door clicked shut behind them. (from Breath of Angel)
A mysterious closed door stirs our curiosity and, in stories at least, raises the tension level. As long as we don’t know what’s on the other side, we’re wary. Anything could be lurking there. Even if what lies beyond the door is good, entering signals a change.
As I wrote last week in my blog about keys, most doors in ancient times did not lock. Those that did usually guarded rooms that required the most security: a treasury, a wine cellar, a dungeon, or the chambers of a person of high position. Not only were these doors locked, but they were made of heavy wood and were often bound with strips of iron or even covered with a sheet of metal. Some doors were made of stone.
Doorways between rooms were often narrow and low. A curtain might function as the “door,” or the opening might not be covered at all. The main doorway that led outside was usually wider and taller. In ancient Palestine the expression, “He (or she) heightened the door,” meant that person was showing off.
Gates led through city walls or into palace or temple courtyards. Gatekeepers closed the city gates at night and did not open them until dawn of the next day. A large city gate had a small door in it so that even after the gate was closed for the night, a person could enter. Of course the person had to convince the gatekeeper and guard that he had a right and a reason to be allowed into the city after dark.
Did you ever open a mysterious door? What did you find inside?
I wish you happy adventures on the other side of the door.