I arrived home late last night from a good long visit with a dear friend on the other side of the country. I like to pause occasionally and recall what a miracle it is that it is possible to wake up in coastal North Carolina and go to bed that same night in coastal California and that this kind of speedy travel across thousands of miles is considered routine at this point in human history. Miracle.
As I woke here in my own bed this morning, Kippee rocking a bit as Tess plodded over to drink water from her bowl, it came home to me that we are closing out our time in California. We have just over two weeks left and perhaps more than any other assignment, I feel as if I never quite managed to get my feet under me here. This assignment has been marked by far more travel than is usual for us, and my go round with pneumonia took weeks to balance out (I am really only now beginning to truly feel like myself again!) and simply called for more rest and less exploring than is our norm when we come to a new place. I never established go-to favorite running trails or a favorite pizza place for Friday nights. We haven’t explored the many micro-breweries or learned the names of the trees surrounding our camp site.
When we leave here, we are headed north. We’ll drop Kippee somewhere in the PNW to store her for the rest of the year (ummm…anyone with space who wants to chat about tucking her into your backyard, we’d love to pay you instead of a storage facility…hit me up!) and then it’s the back of the truck for a couple of months as we explore Alaska through the end of September. This is a long held dream for us, to have weeks to wander the wild and soak in the wonders of a place that refuses to be tamed.
And so we find ourselves in this liminal space- do we try to salvage our time here in California? Take our remaining free days and fill them with as much exploring of this area as we can manage knowing that we simply owe this region another chunk of our time so that we can give it the love we want to? Or do we cut our losses and turn our attention to planning and preparing for this walkabout in the great north?
It’s the in-betweens that are so often the most difficult part, I think. How to fully embrace where we are once we’ve made a choice around where we are going. How to not “check out” but also prepare, also begin letting go. Liminal spaces can feel like a tug of war, a place where we don’t quite manage to give either end the attention it deserves. But they are also the places where we can learn to sit with that discomfort, learn to breathe in the middle of transition, learn to let go of what we think we “should” be doing with it.
Whether it’s soaking in the last of these summer days while simultaneously beginning to think about the upcoming school year, or finishing out time at one job after giving notice while preparing for a new one, or simply wrapping up a workweek while looking forward to weekend plans, we find ourselves in liminal space all the time. So let’s pay a bit of attention to it. Let’s put a little intention into it. It’s often not a particularly comfortable place, but if we stay open, it can be a place we learn to recognize and utilize more fully. We don’t have to choose either/or in our transitions, after all.
So I think I will take my own little slice of transition and try doing some Alaska planning this afternoon at a local micro-brewery we’ve been meaning to try, a little California exploration in the midst of Alaska dreaming. We can look ahead without forgetting where our feet are planted right now, we just have to practice hanging out in our liminal space.
Happy Wednesday, you guys!