The Gate to Happiness

The Gate to Happiness

La Porte, by Henri Duhem

The Gate to Happiness

It’s nothing but a stone foundation now, overgrown with weeds, but the farmhouse had been our parents home for fifty years. From the moment they moved to the country for a simpler life, the house always was in need of upkeep, but since we lived many miles away, my sisters and I were unable to help. Dad did manage to stay ahead of it, but as time went on, it fell into disrepair.

Both Mom and Dad lived into their nineties, dying within six months of each other. We could sell the land to a neighboring farmer, but only if the house was torn down. That was a year ago, and this was my first chance to visit, with one purpose – to see the gate. The buyer agreed to keep the gate in place and to leave that stand of trees with their favorite spot intact.

Mom called it The Gate to Happiness. It opens onto a path that leads to a glade in the forest. Until their last year, some of their favorite times were spent sitting in that glade soaking in the light of the full moon. I hope the moon doesn’t miss them, too much.

For Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge #5: The Door, she provides a painting by Henri Duhem, La Porte, allowing discretion in word count. I was able to keep it under 200 words (here, 198).
Of course, Jane’s critique is welcome.

Image source: Wikipedia

9 thoughts on “The Gate to Happiness

  1. Pingback: Microfiction challenge: The door – Jane Dougherty Writes

    • Thank you.
      Actually an imagining, laced with real life. After retiring to rural life, my parents sold their 10 year old house in the country to be closer to children/family in the suburbs of Buffalo. Last year (about 25 years later), my cousin bought it for a song. It was empty for several years, and broken windows let in the weather. He’s gutting and rehabbing it. If my parents were still alive, they would be heartbroken to see its condition.


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