On one of my trips to Ghana I was visiting some of the remote fishing villages on Lake Volta. I was traveling with an interpreter and we were attempting to build relationships with some of the families and fisherman that lived on the islands. Normally we engage with mostly the men because they are the village spokesperson and don’t allow women to have a voice. On this particular day we migrated over to some women who were all gathered in a circle smoking fish and one mother was giving her baby a bath.
We were sitting with these beautiful interesting women and wanted so desperately to engage with them in conversation. My friend Aimee who was traveling with me pointed to the woman sitting next to her and asked the translator to ask her a question. “What is your dream?” Her answer was immediate and simple. She said, “I want a front door. I want visitors to have to knock before they enter my home.” I don’t have the words to share how her answer has impacted my life over the years.
Whenever I am having a bad day or I feel like I am entitled to more than what life has offered me, I think of The Green Door. Below is a picture of the door that she pointed to during our conversation. Her neighbor’s green door was her dream. A few old boards nailed together and some green paint were the bare essentials needed to make her dream unfold.
I don’t have any answers why the world is so out of balance. I don’t know why some children are born into loving families and some children will suffer their whole lives. I don’t know why some women have fabric draped for a door while others have leaded glass. I know for myself I will never forget the story of the green door. The green door represents a woman living on an island without a voice and vulnerable to the outside world. I need more gratitude.
“We have to fill our hearts with gratitude. Gratitude makes everything that we have more than enough.”
– Susan L. Taylor