Monday, 31 October 2016

The In between

Autumn leaves fall in Dark Lane, above Pangbourne, Berks.
31 October - All Hallows Eve - and it's an in between kind of time.

In between because late autumn the year turns, the clocks tick back, and we resign ourselves to the temporary dying of nature as the leaves swirl down the lanes towards winter and the end of another year.

In between the liturgical marking of Harvest and Advent, we sit in the season of remembering: All Saints, All Souls and the red of Remembrance.

Contemporary celebrations of Hallowe'en lie in between too; somewhere in between the orange plastic, the false white cobwebs and the sweetie E number overload at one end, and the ever increasing adverts for full on horror movies at the other - Ouija: Origin of Evil, Don't Breathe and Lights Out all available to scare you out of your wits in your local cinema right now. Thus we use the encroaching darkness of the days to indulge our fascination with unthinkable things...

As to contemporary practices of Hallowe'en, Christians and others with a strong sense of good and evil sit somewhere in between being happy to embrace a little harmless fun (after all we all need to explore the scary and bad from time to time, children especially: Canon Anne Easter said as much on Radio 2's Pause for Thought today) and whole hearted eschewing of something that strays perilously near the occult.

And globally the US is paused in between the rising and falling of two political candidates for the Presidency, balanced like weights on a scale. Polls had begun to put Hillary Clinton in the lead, before Friday's further email discoveries, and the consequent rising again of Donald Trump. Clinton's bid for the White House is poised between success and failure. What kind of world will we have if it's a win for the reds?

Personally speaking, being in between can provide valuable space in which to discover something new about yourself. In between jobs, in between life stages, in between letting something (someone?) go and embracing something (someone?) new. The in between is a spiritual opportunity, a chance to grow, if we don't lose our nerve.

The in between is a liminal place; between summer and winter; between war and peace; between death and life, dark and light; between the past and the future; between the devil and the deep blue Democrat sea.

We hold our collective breath and wait.

Meanwhile, Happy In Between All Hallows Eve.

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