The rhythm of emergence is a gradual slow beat always inching its way forward; change remains faithful to itself until the new unfolds in the sole confidence of true arrival.
— John O’Donohue, in “Thresholds”
Recently I met with my therapist / coach — as I do once each month — and our conversation focused on the threshold nature of this moment. We talked about the end of my summer break, the return to a new UUCC program year, the Getty kids’ return to school, and the older one’s recent driver’s license achievement (and my surprisingly tearful reaction to that achievement!).
On my own I probably wouldn’t have framed this time as a threshold moment — after all, my impulse is to treat these seasonal shifts as routine, ordinary, unremarkable. Surely, a threshold is much more profound than that.
Writer John O’Donohue might disagree with that assessment. In the “Thresholds” section of his book To Bless the Space Between Us, he uses nature’s seasons to illustrate how one might best think about thresholds: “Change arrives in nature when time has ripened. … It is as though [the seasons] were moving forward in a rhythm set from within a continuum.” He reminds the reader,
“At any time you can ask yourself: At which threshold am I now standing? At this time in my life, what am I leaving? Where am I about to enter? What is preventing me from crossing my next threshold? What gift would enable me to do it?”
This reflection on O’Donohue’s writing led to deeper consideration of what might be beyond this threshold moment. What frontier awaits for UUCC as we emerge into the next chapter of congregational life? At what parenting threshold am I now standing? What needs to be left behind? What gifts need to be cultivated?
There are no singular, absolute answers to these questions. All the same, it matters to ask, to imagine, to explore.