John O’donohue tells us about “thresholds”…

“thresholds”…which comes from “thrashing” – which is to separate the grain from the husk. So, the threshold is a place – you move into a more critical, challenging and worthy fullness.

When someone calls you and says to you that someone you love is suddenly dying, it takes 10 seconds to communicate that information. But, when you put the phone down, you’re already standing in a different world. Because everything that seems so important before, is all gone, and now you’re thinking of this. So the given world we think is there, and the solid ground we’re on is so tentative, and I think a threshold is a line which separates two territories of spirit… and I think that how we cross is the key thing.

Beauty is about more rounded substantial “becoming”. When we cross a new threshold, if we cross worthily, we heal the patterns of repetition that were in us, that had us “caught” somewhere. And in our crossing, we cross on to new ground where we don’t just repeat what we’ve been through in the last place we were. So, beauty is about an emerging fullness, a greater sense of grace and elegance, a deeper sense of depth and also a kind of homecoming for your unfolding life.

By-the-way, at exactly 4:59pm (PST) On Friday June 20th, 2008, the tilt of the Earth’s axis will be oriented directly towards the Sun, causing the Sun to reach its northernmost extreme. The name solstice is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstices, the Sun stands still in declination; that is, its apparent movement north comes to a standstill. The term solstice can also be used in a wider sense, as the day that such a passage happens. The solstices, together with the equinoxes, are connected with the seasons…they start or separate the seasons…

On Friday afternoon, I will be with my good friend Dr. Chip at the beach. We will celebrate the passage into a new season together. We must think of something significant to mark this with. Perhaps a single malt dripped on the earth, and raised to the sun in celebration of passages, thresholds and moving through them. Perhaps it will be a painting that will be our memorial. The thing about our moving through the valley of the shadow of death, is that we know that we are going THROUGH, and it is not the place to stay for long. Seeing that there is shadow in this valley, we know that we are surrounded by light… the Light of the world, that on Friday, will cause the sun to stand still for us, unfolding the beauty of life that shines before us.

Postscript… It would be exactly a year from this post (June 18, 2009) that I would suddenly receive that phone call that my father was dying. Suddenly I was standing in a different world. Now, months after his passing, the standing is a bit easier and the Light continues to surround. I am still crossing that threshold, that line in the sand… the line of loss.