Pomp, Circumstance, and Thin Spaces

Heading towards a transition now and I feel it. Hannah has, essentially, three days of high school left and then a week to hang out before her ceremony and then one more week before she leaves for college. And it is like I’ve been floating on a raft down a stream for quite some time. The rapids are approaching now, my heart is quickening. Change is surely ahead. Fast rolling, gulp-to-catch-your-breath change.

I think times of change brings about a thin space. Thin spaces are essentially the moments or times where one can really feel the presence of God (or “creator”); in other words, the veil between the two worlds grows thin. Perhaps ceremonies that celebrate both endings and beginnings bring us to such thin places, if we are quiet and let them. I’ve often thought that I’d either like to become a doula, working with women having babies, or a Hospice chaplain, working with the dying. Either place is special and honored. You cannot have a beginning without an ending. All things must end. Make peace with this concept, and then perhaps you can move into the truth of the thin space. Even birth is an ending. If it is a first child, it marks an ending to a time when you are (relatively) free of responsibility for another living thing (in fact, after Hannah was born, I grieved the loss of this freedom even as I rejoiced in her little toes and fingers). It is important to pay attention when we are faced with beginnings and endings.

And so now, as Hannah concludes her secondary school years and her time at home, she also begins a path of her own. She begins to find her own way in this world. And as this happens, I can somehow see quite clearly her tiny face peering up at me through a swaddle of pink blankets and all of that dark, dark hair. She had the tiniest rosebud ears and they are still extraordinarily tiny. The Japan year was all about letting go and now, It is time to let go even more. And in this place, I see God. And I see how brief our time here really is, for all of us.

So as I was sitting quietly, listening to music last night. I heard laughter outside the window and the dribbling of a ball. And I knew that Ethan wouldn’t always be with us. Josh too, for that matter (but that is a long way off). And I knew I had to get out of the comfy chair and record this precious moment on this beautiful spring night. Breathing in the scent of the crab apple blossoms, already falling from the tree. Beginnings and endings all around us. All life is gift. Be what you will be. As I said on Hannah’s graduation announcement, “Decide what to be and go be it.” The Avett Brothers.

I link to the video above and here are some photos from the thin space of last night and one of Hannah with Josh before one of her last days of school.

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