Thresholds

Years ago, my husband and I completed a huge jigsaw puzzle entitled “Doors of the World”. It was a collage of doorways of different sizes, shapes and colors. I was drawn in by the colors, as color tend to be what always calls my name first. Yet as we tediously worked piece by piece, I found myself drawn in in another way.

As the puzzle slowly began to take form and the doors were coming into clearer view, I found myself wondering about what was on the other side. All of the photos were a street view….but what would the puzzle look like if all the doors were opened? Would we be able to glimpse into the homes, the offices, the secret world of what lies on the other side? What would we find? How much did the outside appearance of the door match the interior? What did each doorway connect?

Thresholds.

Look up from reading this, look around your room, and find a doorway. So much more than just a frame that supports a door, a threshold is a space between. Not quite here, not quite there, but rather a point of transition. A brink. An edge.

Physical thresholds have long been included in rituals and rites of passage. Imagine a strapping young groom carrying his bride across the threshold of their new home, symbolizing leaving behind single life and crossing over into the life of a new family. Many homes of Jewish inhabitants have a mezuzah placed on the threshold of the front door, believed to be a constant reminder that God lives there, and to leave the troubles of the outside world as you enter a holy space. You’d be hard-pressed to find a Southern home without a welcoming wreath decorating a front door, whether the home be modest or mammoth. Welcome, come on in, make yourself at home! Leave your worries on the porch.

Each example signifies the transitioning of time and space, the leaving of one form of existence and mindset into the entering of another. All of them represent that when we cross that doorway, that threshold, something new awaits. We will be in a new space, both physically and emotionally. A leaving behind, a moving towards.

And so, as I turn my calendar to 2021 and try to train my brain to write the correct year on correspondences, I find myself at yet another, though metaphorical, threshold.

We leave one space. We enter another. And if we are awake, alert, mindful of the brink we find ourselves on, if we take a moment for an intentional pause as we rush into our busy work-weeks and the stress of getting that post-holiday “back to normal”, we realize that as we step into a new year, we have the ability to leave behind and/or bring forward what we choose.

What will you leave on the 2020 side of the doorway? Hurt feelings? A lost love? A goal that went unaccomplished? What purging will you do to make your travels to the other side of the door lighter and more inviting?

And what will you bring with you as you step solidly into 2021? Hope? Optimism? Determination? What intentional soul-packings do you bring with you as you settle into the newness, the freshness of the otherside of the doorway?

May we savor the threshold moments this week, not rushing wildly from one frame of mind to another, from one space to the next. May we recognize the space between, the pause, the brink, and be conscious about what we carry forth with us into each and every moment.

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