Marking time

  • Star Magnolias
  • Tulips and crocuses
  • Now the redbuds


As this season of my life stretches, I’m trying to figure out what to call it. Our “spring” has been filled with snow, flooding, a pandemic, a separation. What should I refer to this time? Liminal, is the word I reach for the most often. Here’s a delicious explanation, from Wikipedia:


In anthropology, liminality (from the Latin word lÄ«men, meaning “a threshold”[1]) is the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of a rite of passage,when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the rite is complete.[2]During a rite’s liminal stage, participants “stand at the threshold”[3] between their previous way of structuring their identity, time, or community, and a new way, which completing the rite establishes.

That is precisely it. I am in the liminal season. I’m no longer having or nursing babies. My partner has flown. The streets are largely quiet and I’m not the only person I’ve seen weeping in a grocery store. I’m transitioning, at some point, back to some kind of work. This is a liminal time.

And not just for me, for all of us. Maybe more for me? But for all of us. We’re all leaving something, heading somewhere else right now. Trying to figure out what we will take and what we will leave. What lessons. What practices. What people. 

This is a liminal time.

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