I hope the following poem speaks for itself as an allegory of life.
Peter Pilgrim trudged the path through the forest of life,
As he had done for many a year and many a mile.
He was weary and footsore, and longed to reach a haven,
Somewhere to rest and recuperate – even for a while.
This day he came upon a wide clearing – strange,
The forest was usually dense and very closed in;
But here was a bright open space, and lo! A wall!
A huge high wall stretching left to right in front of him.
But as luck would have it, a tall and broad archway
Stood proud near where the path was leading him.
The road beyond was level and smooth; better still,
The distant vista looked very bright and welcoming.
Full of excitement and wonder he walked briskly forwards
And was bemused to find a single word inscribed
On the keystone of the arch – writ large, it read: EASE.
Well, maybe that’s quite appropriate, he surmised?
Certainly the archway and land beyond was inviting,
But as he was about to step through the open gate,
Movement to the side caught his eye. A bird perhaps?
Something was behind the branches – best investigate?
He was intrigued to uncover yet another archway,
But this one was much, much smaller – almost
As if designed for a small animal and not a man:
Narrow, low, and overgrown around the gatepost.
In stark contrast to its bigger neighbour it held
No attraction, no welcome, and certainly no ‘ease’.
And then he noticed it: the tiniest inscription!
A single word – he struggled to read: SQUEEZE?
What strange game was this? What weird joke?
Whoever had built this wall and set these gates,
Was surely having fun… Hardly a choice to make?
Ease or squeeze? No point in holding any debates.
His route was clear – back to the broader portal,
And onwards to that bright and cheery scene!
Yet something was nagging deep in his heart:
Why was this narrow gate here? What did it mean?
The choices that we make, the paths that we take.
Do they help or hinder us to our true destination?
Yes, he so wanted to reach his journey’s end –
So best to act than wallow in procrastination.
The easy path was a no-brainer. Why bother
To take a track that was so hard and fraught?
Why, he couldn’t see very far that way at all,
But an odd feeling kept telling him he ought.
Why should life’s quest entail struggle and pain?
Did the Lord of the forest have a cruel streak?
Was this whole journey to be a clueless maze?
It’s no use – this ‘squeeze’ was bleaker than bleak.
Now striding ahead on a sunny bright roadway,
It came to him that he’d been this way before?
A realisation that destination was heart-knowledge,
Caused him to turn – that ‘squeeze’ might be his saviour…