Let me begin here by explaining what liminal space means to me. Liminal is the space between two realities. When moving over the threshold from the old to the new, it is the space between the two. In my life, I found myself in liminal space often when sitting at the bedside of a dying person. In those times, I experienced a feeling of being very close to the spiritual realm — what some might call heaven.
I recently attended a 5 day retreat at an ecospiritual farm — Mercy Farm in Benson VT. It was a restful while profound experience learning about Celtic Spirituality. The meaning of liminal space expanded for me during that week when I found myself writing after taking a walk. It is this writing I shall share–as one of my co-retreatants has held me accountable to sharing here!!
Liminal Space I call to You, my God In fright In pain Aloud I call to You. The dog racing down the driveway The owner shouting I hear panic in his shout The other dogs retreated But the blonde kept racing Toward me As the owner’s shouts Grew more desperate. I hurried Careful not to run and attract I saw him halfway down the driveway The now not so long driveway His threatening bark increasing in volume The owner’s cries more insistent. “Oh, God; Oh, God; Oh God!” I bleat out. I spy the thick trunk of a nearby tree Might hiding help? Surely not As he would find my scent I am certain he is on attack My hand grasping the slate I had found I clutch it fiercely I will use this to fend off The monster dog. I don’t hear him anymore Daring to quickly glance back I discover He is not on the road behind me. My breathing begins to slow The hammering of my heart Recedes from my ears. I breathe in deeply The danger has past. I am in the emergency department. The doctor is delayed in seeing me I stand in agony The pain both terrifies and immobilizes me I cannot sit I cannot lie The night has been ages And still stretching into dawn I remember only my chant “Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God!” I cried out in desperation. My friend said I sounded like a feral animal Was it that plea? Or was I writhing aloud? I reach the vista point On my arduous hike Seeing the light shining through the trees I walk onto the outcropping Awe fills my being As I gaze out on the beauty of creation I drink deeply the horizon I drink deeply from my water bottle I sigh and proclaim “Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God!” I pause briefly As I enter the Intensive Care Unit I center myself Pushing aside all else I timidly open the door while sending up a plea “Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God!” I beseech--grant me wisdom, Compassion and love As I be with this dying person This suffering family Oh, God–hear my call. I look out over my garden. Build by loving hands of others Boxes created by my husband Soil mixed by friends and family Greenhouse absorbing warmth As it gathers sun’s life giving rays Furthering incarnation. Fence posts dug on hot summer day Fashioned from my dream Plants bearing fruit Birds flitting in/out feasting On worms and bugs I take in this miracle of garden My Garden of Delight And I send up a silent call of thanks “Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God!” I drive down the ice covered road Snow swirling around me Yellow line barely visible Thankful for my car, tires and studs Miles still to travel Clutching 10 and 2 “Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God!” I plea Bring me home Holding my newborn granddaughter in my arms Aware of this miracle of life but still Startled by the depth of love Stirring with immediacy Deep within. Knowing beyond knowledge The mystical bond between us. Eyes filled with tears of Gratitude for this moment I swaddle with love this babe and murmur “Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God!” In the arms of my love A gift of my later life In passion and release I cry out “Oh, God. Oh, God! Oh, God!” In so many ways For so many reasons The curtain of separation blows aside And allows a peak If ever so briefly Into the full joy of connection Granting a momentary glance into The fullness of the God Spirit within This is Liminal Space The curtain is thinned and opened It is the cervix of our birth and rebirth.