Wednesday, March 12, 2008

California Door


In March 1760, a couple of hundred men left Mexico to found the first Spanish church in California. Their leader was a Franciscan Jesuit priest named Father Junipero Serra. This first of 21 missions was built here in San Diego and was called Mission San Diego de Alcala. All the missions were about a day's walk apart along a road called El Camino Real.

No way this is the original door because the mission was burnt by natives in 1775 and destroyed by an earthquake in 1803 and another one in 1812. Plus the mission was moved around 1774.

Here's an online tour of the San Diego mission.

There's something adventurous and potentially life-altering about passing through a door. Literature is loaded with doors and characters who cross thresholds.

For a look at some doors around the world, Frank Gardner, the brainchild of these door posts, has links at My Painted Box. Elizabeth helped organized this blogging event and has links too at The House in Marrakesh.

I leave you with a couple of Spanish proverbs dealing with doors:

"When fortune knocks upon the door, open it widely."

"Shut your door and you will make a prison."

40 comments:

Greyscale Territory said...

What a gorgeous contrast of colour in this pic! It somehow makes me think immediately of red blood on white snow. After reading your posting with the pic, I still think of that interpretation!

Just lovely!

Gemma

JuliaRose said...

Hi,
Thanks for your kind words, I have read Shirley Maclaine's book about el camino many years ago, and what an experience the walk is..
I just love your door, its so solid, yet softened with the passing years, i just imagine the lives that were affected through passing through that door?..
regards,
xx

JuliaRose said...

Yes, I know, the walk in Spain is what I am talking about, is there any connection?..
xx

Julie at Virtual Voyage said...

This could be in Majorca - love the combination of the flowers with the doors. Thanks for the visit to mine!

Elizabeth said...

Really interesting history behind your door. I don't know enough about the Spanish heritage in the US.
Also the second quote is really moving.
Yes, lots of symbolism to doors.

christine mercer-vernon said...

i love that your post contained a bit of history, a bit of wisdom, and a sprinkling of proverbs! Great wooden door, I would love to have a front door like that, warm and welcoming, but ominous!

Sherry ~ Cherie ~ ms. herbes de provence said...

I love this door Barrie, and the history behind it. Even if it isn't the "original" that was brought from Mexico, it is stunning.

I also love these Spanish proverbs. So very, very true.

Now, about those red "choosing boots"....Hee!!!

Patti said...

doors can be so mystical and filled with expectation. i love doors...

Karen Cole said...

Beautiful door and wonderful tale about the history.

Thanks for your comments, Barrie.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Ahh...my home town and beloved mission. The grounds are always so peaceful and colorful, and it is amazing to think of the missions being founded at the same time as all the Revolutionary War events were happening on the other side of the continent.

I think it is interesting that the Franciscans came and stayed (why not, it was gorgeous!) while later those on the east coast pushed and strained to head west.

Michele said...

Gorgeous photo, Barrie. I've always loved the mission architecture.

I actually used to live quite close to this mission and would visit it often. :-)

Great post!

Jessica Burkhart said...

Oooh, I want a door like that...:)

Sandy Levin said...

Great door. How about this proverb:

Silence is the doorway to the soul. :-)

Laura said...

WOW....

bella said...

What an inspiring post and stunning photo.
Doors, archways, gates, hallways, thresholds, they speak to us on so many levels, don't they?
Outside and inside blur.

Britt-Arnhild said...

Beautiful door and wise quoates.

Rebecca Hickman: said...

Franciscans are so cool.

http://rochambeau.typepad.com said...

Hi Barrie,
Thank you for posting this door. I have been to most of the missions except for this one. Liked the Spanish proverbs too!

Constance

Leslie said...

I enjoyed your photograph and your history of the Spanish missions. I also liked the proverbs!

Ambera said...

that thing looks pretty darn solid. I like the flowers in the foreground.

Travis Erwin said...

Reminds me of the door Laverne & Shirley had when they moved to California

Sue said...

Lucky for me that the Doors of the World have opened to show me your work and world. I'm enjoying this trip around the globe and meeting such wonderful artists and bloggers. I love your photograph and your words. Best wishes.

Sara said...

Ah yes, I have seen this door in person....though it's been a couple of decades! I love the California missions.

Your two Spanish proverbs are so appropo!

Angela said...

Yes in so many books a door is a path to a whole new world

Autumn said...

Beautiful photo. I lived in San Diego when I was a child, but don't think we visited the mission.

Beth said...

I love the missions. When my son had to study them in 4th grade, I had a great time helping him with his project. My father is a water color artist and has painted the CA missions for decades. I have several of his paintings in my home. As children, my parents would take my sister and I to visit the missions-I'm pretty sure I've been to them all.
I loved the proverbs and thanks for the ARC, I'm really looking forward to reading it!

Beth said...

I know this will sound....strange...but I love doors. I really do....esp. OLD doors. I have about 40 old oak doors in my garage...I got them from my high school before they tore it down. Ya, I was going to sell them....but for some reason, 2 years later, I still have every. single. one. of. them.

I love doors.

Joanne said...

Thank you for giving the history behind your photo of the door. Doors and their design speak a language all their own... I thought immediately upon seeing yours that it looked Mexican or Spanish! Thank you too for the quotes. They are very powerful reminders of how to live life.
Regards,
Joanne

Jennifer said...

Barrie-- Love the history behind that door.

Hey, your upcoming book sounds really exciting! How fun to meet another writer here in blog-land! :-)

Fete et Fleur said...

I just recently visited a California Mission. I know some people really enjoy these places but to me the history of the place was really difficult to overcome.

This door is certainly beautiful though. Thank you for sharing it.

Nancy

Frank Gardner said...

Love the door. Thanks for the history behind it and the Spanish proverbs are right on.

Paz said...

I enjoyed this post very much. Thank you!

Paz

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

Beautiful photo, gorgeous doors, lovely flowers, and it looks like nice weather as well (she says a bit enviously).

:-)

Family Adventure said...

Beautiful post, Barrie. I never thought much about the symbolism of a door - opened or closed. I do now. Thanks.

Heidi

Terry Rafferty said...

I grew up in So. California, so the missions were a big part of my life. What fun to see this one again and to be reminded of the history.

Alyson said...

I remember studying the California missions in 4th grade. It was one of my favorite subjects. They are all so beautiful. Luckily, I have been able to visit many of them.

Eileen said...

I love old doors, and this one is exceptional. The history behind it is so interesting. Thanks for sharing this and the links that go with this. I will have a lot of fun exploring to do tonight!!
How are you doing?
XOXOX

Sara Hantz said...

The door is gorgeous. And I LOVE the comments.

JuliaRose said...

Hi, Thanks for visiting me...must be thrilling getting published???>..keep up the coffee & writing dates ..
xx

Shauna Roberts said...

Paying you a visit after yours to my blog. Interesting post. My husband and I really enjoy visiting historic buildings, and now that we have moved to Southern California, I am looking forward to visiting the many missions.