I live in a landscape of liminal spaces. This past Samhain I have been hovering, neither truly in this world nor out of it. Partly this has to do with pondering mortality and how we may live out our last days. I am not dying (well, not that I know of at any rate), but there are others close who have been taken to that edge physically, mentally and spiritually. 2015 was a challenging and exhausting year, with many highs and some gutting lows for me and those close to me. I have had to pause, hibernate and dip into the no-words place before I could break surface.
Winter has a stillness that I truly value. I am grateful for the ice that hems us in. I am grateful for the wood that snaps in our log burner and the candle that glows with my many special intentions. I sit and knit little squares that will eventually become a blanket for a refugee or migrant and I am grateful for the meditative space between the click of the needle and the flick of the loop.
All my life I went to church for others.My mother made me go when I was a child.I would sit in the church and argue with the minister in my head.I’d ask questions the Sunday school teacher didn’t want to answer.When my mother finally stopped making me go, I stopped until my children came along.My oldest daughter loved to sing, loved music.When my mother took her to church she fell in love with the children’s choir.For my daughters, I went back to church.I sat in the pews arguing with the minister in my head being more and more annoyed.However, my kids wanted to be part of the choir and the pageant, so I went.I volunteered to work in the kitchen for the youth group’s Wednesday night program because my kids wanted to be in the group.One day when the youth minister asked if my husband and I were members, I said no.He asked if we’d like to join and I laughed.It was a good conversation when I explained to him I considered myself agnostic (at the time).
When my kids stopped wanting to be in the church choir, the church group, I stopped going with great relief.After they stopped, I did nothing when it came to spiritual or religious beliefs.I didn’t believe the way my mother believed.I didn’t experience faith in the same way she did.I decided religion wasn’t for me.