Yesterday: 99.5 km, 20.4km/hr, total: 2538km
We have completed our journey across the country. It has taken us ten months longer than we had originally planned. Ten months that have seen more than their share of grief, and loss, and sorrow. We’ve learned through this year that even when we make water-tight plans, we are not actually in control. Since we set off on May 14th 2015 we seem to have been in something of a liminal place.
I’d never actually heard the word liminal until I went off to seminary, and then a lot more as J and I participated in a trip to Spain studying pilgrimage. A liminal space, or time, is a time of disorientation. It could literally mean being at the threshold of something. It is sometimes described as an in-between experience, neither here nor there. For some, being in a liminal place in life can be a time of self exploration, of personal revelation. For others, being in such a place is frightening, upsetting, and to be avoided at all costs.
This past year has been a year of transitions, a year of stepping into unknown places. After we began our journey last year, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. Worry and grief accompanied us over the mountains and across the prairies until we were called home to be with her in the last weeks, just as we entered Ontario. We went through the liminal experience of not knowing if the call I feel to ministry would actually result in a second posting. After some months of searching a position was offered in York. Another threshold crossed. And then,in February, J’s father was suddenly taken from us. Another transition.
I know that these transitions in life, these thresholds we need to cross, are not going to end, they are part of life. When we arrive home next week, cross back over the threshold of our home, this one that we have imposed on ourselves will be over.
Did we learn through the experience? Most definitely! We are not the same people who set out last year. We’ve learned practical things, like the importance of keeping a close eye on tire pressure, and not being fooled off of the planned route by a rail trail that looks like it might be flatter, and that going past a Tim Hortons bathroom might not be a good idea. We’ve learned to accept praise and gifts graciously, and to share our story generously, with encouragement. We’ve learned that, as a team we are strong enough for the challenge in front of us even when we have to walk the odd hill. We’ve been reminded, over and over, that we are not in control and thank the one who is, for protection, and care, as we have traveled in this liminal space.