Maeve was born on the autumn equinox, the day when summer turned to fall, and almost at the exact hour that late morning. That was the day I learned the word liminal:
1. of or relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process
2. occupying a position at, or on both sides of, of a boundary or threshold
Her birth seemed to represent the word beautifully as she ushered us into a new life, our first baby in DC, a family of five when we thought we’d be four, a sweet baby of summer heat and fall depth. It suits her.
Today we fill a different liminal space. The five of us are on a plane flying to Phoenix, where we’ll pick up our second plane and arrive in CA to begin life again. Do we begin life again? Or just continue life in a different setting. Funny how a change in setting does re-set us…
As of this morning, we have officially moved from DC. But still we are neither here nor there. Our DC house is boxed up but not yet emptied – we didn’t get to see it hollowed out. In two quick days, it ceased being our home, even though it’s held us so snugly these four years. Our rental in CA is set up but still in possession of another renter (long story), and we are operating on good-faith that he will move out so we have a place to stay (though no furniture for 8 more days).
For who knows how long we will each hover in this liminal space as our rhythms shift from summer to school, from east to west, from home to new home.
Last night, when Annemarie and I sat on my parents’ porch swing saying our goodbyes, I tried to explain what this week has been like. In 18 days we went from a settled life in DC to sitting on this plane: everything we own packed, 10 bulging bags checked below us, and in our wake, a week of excruciating goodbyes – which felt half-pretend, like we were acting in a play -- and a zillion tasks cleaning/purging/packing/sorting/repairing/coordinating/deciding/leaving.
I have never felt such holistic exhaustion.
Maeve has had a fever for three nights, and we have all moved through storms of emotion that change on a dime. We will have to keep allowing each other to do this.
Adventure. That’s what I keep telling myself.
All of the attachments are hard, though: how houses become dear friends, how routines become comfort, how people become anchors, and seasons with their weather, lead us through.
New adventures. We will follow.