The week between Christmas and New Year’s seems a sacred time, what’s called a “thin place” in Celtic spirituality: a place where the lines blur between this world and the next, the material and the metaphysical, the mundane and the spiritual. It’s liminal space, from the Latin meaning “threshold.”

We stand in the threshold of a new year, looking forward and looking back. The tree is still up, the radio is still playing Oh Holy Night, and you still see the occasional Santa hat or reindeer antlers bobbing down the grocery store aisle. People still smile at strangers for no reason.

The mood is bittersweet because we know the magic and the random smiles will soon be over, but now — right now — I revel in this in-between time.

The slight melancholy of what’s been lost is tinged with a burgeoning excitement of what might be. We get misty eyed singing “Should old acquaintance be forgot,” (especially when we’re singing it with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life), but we also look to the new year with childlike hope and anticipation.

Not everybody loves New Year’s Eve, but everybody loves contemplating new beginnings, even if they are the same new beginnings they contemplated the year before and the year before that, but never pursued. Maybe this will be the year . . .

This week’s WordPress photo challenge is well-timed. “Sometimes,” it says, “we get caught up in nostalgia, future fantasy, or both, and we don’t embrace the ‘now.’ For this week’s challenge, take a moment to notice your present, and share a photo of it.”

My “now” is a little sad. I miss my mom and my brother this time of year; the two-year anniversary of my brother’s passing was last week. At the same time, I am amazed at the transformation and healing I’ve experienced over the past year, and God’s presence and action is undeniable. I am challenged and growing in my new role as Pastor of Prayer and Healing at my church, and I feel as if I’m fully in the flow of cosmic intent. I’m expectant and excited to see what God has planned for me in 2016.

Here’s the photo I’ve selected to represent my now: a photo of my journal and my well-worn bible, taken at a recent quiet retreat day. This is my now – a time of reflection and connecting with Spirit, of letting go and of looking forward with hope.

As you ponder the past year and anticipate the next, I hope that you’ll take time to be present to this liminal week. Stand in the magical threshold of NOW with me and dare to dream.

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