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  • Writer's pictureAshley Fryer

We Find a Doorway

Do you know about liminal spaces? A liminal space is a doorway; a threshold. A moment between your current reality and all possible futures. Life is full of these moments. It's the reason New Year's, and your birthday, and the start of the schoolyear inspire us to imagine the new self that will accomplish all the things!

But what happens to that old self? What has to happen any time we wish to invite new life? We have to make room. We use all sorts of names for this - releasing what doesn't serve us, kicking old habits, rewriting the narrative, etc. But let's be clear, what we're talking about is death.

Right now, in my front garden beds, a handful of bulbs are starting to peek through the dark mulch into the sunshine. Their little green heads are a welcome sign that spring is nearly here. But each glimpse of green and pink new growth around the garden comes after the thousand deaths of fall and winter. Nature welcomes her own and through the magic of time [and humble composters deep in the soil] transforms it again and again into new life.

Death is hardly the topic we associate with pregnancy, however birth and death are different names for the same door. Embracing new life requires us to embrace the thousand tiny [and not so tiny] deaths that usher it in - the pregnant body will literally break itself down to nourish the budding heartbeat within. There is the death of the old life, the pre-baby luxuries, relationships uncomplicated by parenting. Siblings lose pieces of the parents they've known their whole lives, space that once was theirs alone. Sometimes new life, in all its unpredictable beauty, chooses a form we weren't expecting - perhaps multiple heartbeats instead of one, or a diagnosis that brings a whole new set of joys and challenges. And sometimes new life breathes briefly before departing, leaving a deep, despairing chasm.

In each of these moments, we find a doorway. A threshold that promises, in time, a new form of life; vibrant and confusing, chaotic and beautiful. In summer we relish the sunshine, knowing that autumn twilight fast approaches, and every cold and dark winter, eventually warms and blossoms into spring.

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