In-Between

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Seed: Photo by Noelle

As the night’s cool, even if the days have not, my mind ponders the autumn. A sacredness for transition points has settled into my soul of late. The awareness that one thing is ending and something else has not yet bloomed. I feel that inner toggle switch laying idle in my hand, as there is no clear direction yet to take. One season eases out slowly in the daylight hours, while another is tiptoeing in at night. I find myself embracing, more and more, in-between spaces and allowing the peace it brings to sink deeply into me. Intuitively, I see the power in their lack of direction or action.

There was a time when everything in my life had to have some clear direction. Some plan, clear outcome, a certainty provided on the front end that all would be well. I realize our entire culture has built this need for safeguards and assurances in. We have insurance polices for every possible eventuality. Contracts to ensure everything goes according to plan or someone else will be at fault if it doesn’t. We have schedules and calendars and smartphones that offer alerts so nothing can be forgotten. We are all so afraid of the unknown, the unexpected, the misdirection, which, in the end is never a misdirection. Spiritually speaking, we are always going in the right direction. It can only be the wrong direction by our reaction and resistance to where we are.

I’ve come to understand the weakness in the constant hunger to know where things are going. A hunger that is always driven by fear. Given how little we can predict ahead, I was surprised when it dawned on me how much of my life I’d lived with a low-grade anxiety. Constantly seeking ways to know the future or like some boy scout, be prepared for every possibility. For a woman who would never describe herself as anxious, it was a revelation.

Now I watch the leaves turn as a summer wind lifts the edges of my skirt. I sense myself leaving a number of things, but also feel no clear planting of my feet into something else. An older version of me wants to pull out the notepad and make lists so something can be accomplished to get it all moving to somewhere. I smile and breathe down her fear. She’s worried nothing will get done. She’ll end up wallowing in no man’s land without a life. She’ll miss the boat, she’ll be left behind. Oh, the calamity of no plan!

Today, I’ll just enjoy being nowhere. The sun is up and there are hours left to play. As a destination, nowhere is a grossly underrated place to be. If I possess any doubt about this all I need do is stop and listen. Ah, see, starlings have filled the cattail beds.

25 thoughts on “In-Between

    • Thanks. I’d intended to use the image in my book, but I didn’t process it right and it just didn’t work. That’s the beauty of a blog. If it doesn’t work somewhere else, it always works here.

  1. Yes, the patience to leave empty spaces unfilled, acknowledging that not every moment needs to be crammed full of plans and accomplishments. Well said.

    In much the same spirit, this week I invited my readers to give me challenge topics for short stories, so that I can write quick little entries just for the fun of it rather than taking my fiction too seriously. If you have a few moments to give me a challenge suggestion, I’d appreciate it. No need to take much time — just a few random words that come to mind would be fine. 🙂

  2. Noelle, I hope you can enjoy that spaciousness! Some days it works for me, and others I get bound up resisting the resistance… Ha!

    I loved this line, which is powerfully true: “…we are always going in the right direction…” Can you not sense how the edges around everything will soften as this becomes the lived experience of things? We’ve arrived, and we’re catching up to ourselves little by little… 🙂

    Peace
    Michael

      • Hmm. Now I am less sure of the two opposing ideas living together. I will have to sort that out in my head or be more aware of when I am living it.

      • Living with two opposing ideas, allowing neither to have to be true or wrong is a wonderful meditation and practice. Really stretches the beams on the rooftop.

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