Neither Here Nor There: The Allure of the In-Between

It’s February 3rd.

In astrology this is close to the midpoint in the Aquarian zodiac (Jan. 20 – Feb. 19), this year it falls on a Wednesday, which is the midpoint of the week. Interestingly, 2021 in numerology is represented by the energy of the number 5, a number that sits in between 0 and 9, it is also my Life Path number, and the total of my age reduced to a single digit. My mind is reeling with connections because it’s my birthday and I’m officially two decades (and a day) old! Neither a child nor an elder, I’m in the liminal space of my life where the lessons of the past color me nostalgic, and the infinite possibilities of the future are calling to be discovered. The present is an open doorway, neither here nor there, and I stand at this threshold of in-betweenness.

I linger here not really sure how to proceed. My heart feels young yet my mind feels old. What holds me here? It’s the fear of letting go and the excitement of flying free, to fly toward uncertainty hoping to land on a solid definition of who I am and what I am meant to be.

The transformation of a creature from a lowly being to its majestic form has always been a favorite analogy that has coloured my world since I was a child. The ugly duckling turning into an enchanting swan, the caterpillar’s metamorphosis to a beautiful butterfly, a bored little girl named Alice whose imagination turned her into a heroine to right wrongs in a magical world. Now I understand all of its meaning unfolding as I try to put the pieces of my fragmented sense of self together before I venture to step across another doorway in my life.

I speak of liminal spaces as figurative places, though they can be physical states of being in the material world. Like stairwells and landings, like crossroads and bridges, like trails and doorways. They are spaces within which we all travel to get from one place to the next. The state of transformation is that in-between space where we get from one version of ourselves to the next. A place of turning, becoming, realizing, growing, reflecting, reaching, planning, dreaming. Sometimes it may feel like limbo when things before and after no longer hold sway because all we see is the dark. But isn’t it in the darkness that all life began?

From our mother’s womb, we are born into the world. From the dark of the soil, all seeds emerge. From the dimness of winter, spring births life anew. And from the shadowy chrysalis, a butterfly struggles forth to gain strength so that its new wings can take flight.