Most of the time, as we walk down the backroad, we’re watching and observing, looking for what might be out in the fields, up the wooded banks, the streams, the pond and river. We’re always listening to the sounds around us, from birds and other creatures, the sounds that follow us all the way down the backroad and back home again.
We talk about our families, the children and grandchildren, and events and happenings in our own lives. And sometimes, as we’re passing by, we discuss our neighbors. Why have they done this? Or why are they not doing that? Or what is going on here? Or when did they do that?
At times we’ve kidded each other about our curiosity. We should knock on their doors and let it be known that we want to be kept informed and updated on what’s happening around here. Knock, knock, it’s us, the neighborhood busybodies, the wanting-to-know-it-alls, stopping by for the latest news.
We’ll have to be careful in our daily patter, my walking partner and I. We’ll have to remember the three narrow gates:
If you are tempted to reveal
A tale to you someone has told
About another, make it pass,
Before you speak, three gates of gold.
These narrow gates: First, "Is it true?"
Then, "Is it needful?" In your mind
Give truthful answer. And the next
Is last and narrowest, "Is it kind?"
And if to reach your lips at last
It passes through these gateways three,
Then you may tell the tale, nor fear
What the result of speech may be.