The Time Between

Liminal: “of, relating to, or being an intermediate state, phase, or condition” Merriam Webster.com

xmastrees_vertWPThe week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day has always been a special time for me. The everyday world seems to pause and recede, leaving time for inner reflection, time to consider the past year and the future to come.The Norwegians have a name for this season – Romjul. According to My Little Norway “the time from Boxing Day [day after Christmas] until New Years Eve is called Romjul (Christmas Space) which is the ‘space’ between Christmas and New Year’s.” Traditionally, this time is spent with family and out of doors.

XmasMoonriseWPI’ve often thought about liminal space (The Space Between) but until now, I hadn’t considered the idea of liminal time. Liminality, as the moment “betwixt and between” is the time for transitioning from one state to another, and that is exactly what this week serves. After the intense activity of the end-of-semester deadlines and the rush to prepare for Christmas, nothing is more welcome to me than to stay quietly at home for a week, reading books, meandering through the garden in any weather, and looking over photos from the year. Angel and I even spent several balmy nights entranced by the rising of the Christmas moon, its brilliant light a reminder of longer days to come..

New Year’s Eve is considered to be an important liminal time – the threshold between one year and the next. The many traditions associated with the holiday – midnight fireworks, kisses, and toasts, are ancient and worldwide practices associated with our need to pass safely from one state to another. And did you know that the oldest record of a New Year’s resolution is over 4000 years old from ancient Babylonia?

seedsWPAs I reflect on the year past and prepare for the year to come, the garden is on my mind. I hope to have my garden open to visitors this summer and have been busy preparing while the weather remains mild. The first packet of seeds came this week, along with a book on propagation techniques. More seeds are on their way, the light table in the basement is clean and ready, and visions of the coming garden season creep into my dreams.

Here is a slideshow of this past year’s highlights of the garden, from the snows of February to the autumn colors of November. Enjoy! (all images ©2015 Lynn Emberg Purse, All Rights Reserved)

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All blessings to you and yours in the new year!

Fast away the old year passes,
Hail the new, ye lads and lasses!
~Deck the Halls

32 thoughts on “The Time Between

  1. I also do wonder what music you are working on…is this time of year good for hibernation physically but also for getting more or deeper creative work going? If I lived back East I would love to see that garden, too. Exquisite pictures; you are fortunate, indeed.

    • Cynthia, most of my time in the winter is spent teaching music, although I do some writing and arranging for my ensemble. Summer is my time for composing; I stopped teaching summer classes a few years ago so that I could delve a little deeper into the creative flow – working in the garden enhances that flow, so the two are truly intertwined processes. Winter, when I’m not teaching, is spent planning for the gardening season 🙂

  2. The garden is just beautiful. I hope the propagating goes well and the preparation for having the garden open is not too hectic. A great challenge. Lovely post – I’ve so enjoyed this ‘liminal’ time this year – I took more time off and managed to take things ‘as she goes’ without getting too wound up by the frenzy of things.

  3. Thoughts of time and space are deep – surreal – reflective and more … but you’ve linked them well. Thanks for sharing the garden that takes you into your own time and space.

  4. Such a pleasure it is to see your garden go from bare to voluptuous as seasons progress. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about liminal space, and liminal time (and how sad that my spell check doe not recognize the word!!) Following an academic calendar reinforces the sense of rest at the new year – a good thing, as you note, especially after all the Nov – Dec frenzy. I can’t wait to hear what you’re going to grow from seed – I never got to do that very much and love the idea of it.
    There is always an elegance here that I appreciate!

    • Hi Lynn, and thank you for your kind comments. Yes, the academic year suits me very well 🙂 Seeds – I tend to grow those things from seed that either I cannot get locally or that I need a LOT of. There are so many more things available by seed than ever offered by local or big box stores. It is also a great way to connect to the garden in a deeper manner and to feel a part of the cycle of life at every step. A post on seed starting and what I raise might be fun! Certainly, it is a way to garden while it is still snowing outside!

  5. I guess we’re true Romjulians at Full Moon, my dear Composer, since we spent the week, as always, nesting and hiking 🙂 I LOVE visiting your garden, such a meditative heaven you’ve created. Hope your New Year is full of sparkle, joy, peace, and sweet surprises.

    • That’s a great word, Kitty – Romjulians! When I read your recent posts, I knew that you treasured the same time. Birds of a feather 🙂 I wish you a beautiful New Year as well, filled with joy and discovery.

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