There is a wise saying in the Eastern tradition about the time between comings and goings. And how when you find that, you’ve found the secret to really being present.
And I wanted to start this blog entry with said kickass saying but my middle-aged brain is having a senior moment. Can’t find the phrase. Can’t remember which book I read it in. A certain percentage of you will relate to this.
But my addled brain and I are going to plunge ahead anyway. We always do. Why should today be any different?
Look at these two.
My younger self and her Daddy-O walking down the aisle. A coming and a going all wrapped into one. Can you see it in our faces? We’re struggling in the In Between. I’m still his “little girl” in this moment. He’s still, technically, the main man in my life—at least legally. But we’re feeling that phase of life slip away with every step. The going. A milestone, but also a marker of the steady movement of time. Tick tock.
And how about the coming? Yes, there’s that. I am about to become a wife. Me—the independent, creative, feminist odd duck is bowing to tradition. I am coming into a new phase of life in this picture, just steps away from another beginning.
Hence, the smiles with the tears. The somewhat wistful, melancholy look before the celebration begins.
I have never loved comings and goings.
Last week, my son was arrived home to help me plant a bush. Dinner was next on the agenda. His cell phone rang and within one short minute the coming was a going. “Mom, I’m going to Melody’s [name changed to protect the innocent] to study for the math final.” Ah, yes. Melody of the large blue eyes and snappy comebacks. And beyond the tiny coming and going I experienced in that moment, I saw a larger one heading my way. The going where another woman takes her rightful place in his heart. The going where I have to inch over and make room for her.
My youngest, while still affectionate, is about to hit his teen years. “Mom, you want to watch a movie tonight?” Coming. But with one ring of the doorbell, he is going. As it should be. Time to spread his wings.
I just celebrated my birthday with a group of friends in a lakeside town. We shopped, had a wonderful dinner and stayed up far too late playing the card game for awful humans, “Cards Against Humanity.” Such a coming. Laughed until I cried and completely welcomed the upcoming year. Yet, one of those friends is likely to move within that year. Going.
While I still can’t remember that wise saying word for word, I appreciate the gist of it. The time between comings and goings is truly precious. Most of us call it daily life. And we miss the beauty of it some days.
Take another look at the pic above. I was not missing anything on that day. I was acutely aware that I was in one of those rare moments—a beginning and an end separated by a split second. We don’t get too many of those in a lifetime. The last big one I had was probably this one, as my son graduated from a wonderful school.
As so many of you celebrate in this season of graduations, weddings, births, feel the split second, won’t you? And then thank God for the time just after. That’s the In Between. One of my favorite times.