Feeling the in-between

March 16, 2021 | By Jen Higgins-Newman, BHFH Program Manager

From Jen: This is one of my current “pandemic projects”— a product of tracing and coloring on an iPad. It’s a work in progress, in the “in-between,” which felt right to share along with the theme of this digest. 

“Up and down it goes like a great wave across my own home
All the questions of the mind trying to find a way to show
That I got darkness, I got light, I got everything in between
Don’t deny any side, I don’t cut branches off my tree

Great storm clouds holding rain
It’s part of nature to hold a bit of pain
All in all, that rain falls and then we watch a new thing grow
Watch a new thing grow”

Trevor Hall, Great Storm Clouds, from the album In and Through the Body

We all know — it was just about a year ago that our lives changed significantly due to the coronavirus pandemic. In some ways, it feels to me like it couldn’t have possibly been a year, and in other ways, I know in my bones that it has.

I’ve been thinking about the imagery from the song lyrics above, of storm clouds holding rain at the same time new things are growing or getting ready for the rain they need to grow. This imagery reflects liminal space, which means in the “in-between,” or on the threshold of transition.

For me, it’s a time for noticing. Noticing where the pain is. Noticing where the possibility of new life is, slowing down and feeling. 

I’ll say to you what I am working on saying to myself: Be gentle with yourself this week. Remember that it’s okay to lament the year we’ve been through. It is okay to grieve what we have lost, to recognize the ways that we have all held pain during the pandemic, and in the “before-times.” It is also okay to notice the new things that have grown here. It’s a both/and.