7:30 BELLS: Unleaving . . . The Price of Coming Home

The golden leaves on this tree are a threshold—so I thought as I stood beneath it in the wind. On the frontier of transformation, magic happens that enables the fall from one life into another. The leaves are unleaving . . . first leaving green behind, then turning gold in a grand exit before leaving the tree forever.

We fear such moments of change, even when we see them coming. I know I don’t like the uncertainty and the discomfort of the inbetween. Here’s a list of a few of such moments: 

The gold is when you leave one home or place, for another.
The gold is getting married.
The gold is having children.
The gold is leaving one kind of work for another.
The gold is leaving one love for another.
The gold is dying.

What courage it all takes. But when I look at this tree, listen to it, and think what I might become, I'm determined to find the courage. I want this moment of gold, want what it leads to. So I’ll pay the price. 

What is the price? Unleaving . . . leaving our current connectedness, whatever that may be, and for awhile become disconnected, marginal, outside. Bearing the discomfort of being a threshold person, and learning to value it,  in a society that doesn’t.

Anthropologist Victor Turner talks about this in his book, The Ritual Process. A threshold person endures not only the loss of their identity, but also their status in the world. They are considered outsiders, outcasts.  I think it is because threshold people make us anxious, make us secretly fear we might be living an unexamined life.

 But a threshold person emerges from transformation to re-connect with the world in a new way.

So when it’s your time to turn gold, don’t hurry. Savor it. Become a vessel for the ambiguous state. The golden door is the one to walk through in order to move from an old life into a new one.

 In this season of change, may we all find the courage to ring with gold when need calls, and then fall with our own grace into whatever awaits us next.

7:30 BELLS Posts run every Tuesday.
7:30 BELLS Guest Posts run on the second Tuesday of every month.
Winter Bells will be announced soon.