I am not a fan of the penultimate. It is my least favourite time, the moment when you are about to cross a threshold but haven’t done so yet. The feeling of being about to step onto a rickety bridge between two cliffs, trying not to look down. Occupying the space between solid ground, except you are not so sure about the ground you are making your way towards, because nothing over there is part of your familiar yet.
It is so annoying that thresholds matter, because it means we come upon them over and over. It would be much more comfortable if one stage of life simply blended seamlessly into another, like a long meandering transition.
Instead thresholds feel more staccato, stuffed as there are with endings and beginnings, lines drawn in the sand. Frontiers that only emerge as you begin to approach them. The realisation that the miracle is found, not in the hoped for distance, but by the side of the road as you bend over with the exhaustion of being unknown and not yet loved.
The miracle is there with you stooped over taking in gulps of air, and is there with you lifting your head so your eyes fall upon the lit bush. And in that lit bush you notice yourself as if for the first time, catching up with who you have become since the last time you stood at a threshold. Somehow in that tender moment you remember all the thresholds you have passed through to bring you to this one. You are reminded how, in the end, everything returns, and you read the words by poet David Whyte in his book Pilgrim, and he says exactly what your soul longs to say;
‘to have risked yourself for something that seemed to stand both inside you and far beyond you, that called you back to the only road in the end you could follow…in your rags of love…a prayer for safe arrival…what you wanted had already happened long ago and in the dwelling place you lived before you began and every step had carried the heart and mind and promise that first set you off and drew you on...that you were more marvellous in your simple wish to find a way, than the gilded roofs of any destination you could reach’.
Wow! – ‘you are more marvellous in your simple wish to find a way, than the gilded roofs of any destination you could reach’
May you, marvellous one, find a way, across the threshold that you face, with the assurance of the hand that has always been at your back, where you will find yourself again known, again understood, again loved.