Liminal time. That’s what we are now in as we await baby Nico’s birth. Liminal is defined as: 1) of or relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process; 2) occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold. Days, hours, moments before and after birth are liminal points, as are days, hours, and moments before and after death.
I have been present for seven births in my life: my three children, my three nieces and my granddaughter. I have also been present at the deathbeds of two of my brothers, my sister and my mother. That time – waiting for an impending birth or death – contains some unique characteristics.
For one, time elongates as if it were a ribbon of taffy, being pulled by unseen forces. There is no rushing in this state. Even if the actual time is very fast, the experience feels much longer – stretched – to fit the auspiciousness of the occasion.
Also, nothing else is required but to be present. There is no need to supply wisdom, entertainment or even expertise during this time. It is enough to simply be in the moment; to witness the transition that is occurring.
Furthermore, there is no stopping it. As the very essence of the life force, it is beyond our realm. Whether the very beginning or the very end, we are witnessing the crossing over of a threshold where life will forever be changed.
I am privileged to have been part of these transitions, these movements into another realm. I look forward to being present for Nico’s birth, another opportunity to experience the mystery of life.