Liminal Space

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. 

6 thoughts on “Liminal Space

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