The lessons I have learnt in my life have been myriad; some have been simple, others have been profound, some difficult, and others simply requiring a nod of the head before moving on. The hardest lessons were always the ones I was not prepared to learn. The ones that came without warning. Sailors, they say, keep close watch on the sky because she will tell them everything they need to know to keep themselves afloat. A story I read a long time ago says that the skies and the winds over land are inconsistent, shifting, and do not give us the warning that sailors have learnt, and passed on through the centuries.
Sometimes I feel like my gatekeeping tasks have me locked in a tower, watching the sky, but I don't know what I'm looking for. Is that cloud formation dark because the sun is going down? Is it shifting to the east or to the south? I get distracted by the lightning and the pageantry of the moon, and by the time the storm hits, I haven't rung any bells, I haven't sounded the alarms, and the air raid sirens are silent. What good am I, as a gatekeeper, then? What good am I as a sentinel? My watch began without instruction, and continues without guidance. I do not have the knowledge and skills passed down from generations past. I have not the preparation or the instincts to know when to raise the alarm. How, then, am I to succeed?