The Spaces in Between
I was sitting in a beautiful chapel last week, at the funeral of a friend. It was a large chapel and it was filled. So many folks had come to gather strength, peace, some closure to the emptiness left by a light bringer who left us too early.
The Vermont day was typical of autumn in the “North Country.” Rainy, giving way to partly cloudy, blurring into sunny and blustery. The window that I faced captured the puffy gray clouds providing the background for the brightly gilded Maple tree dancing with the wind.
I thought about the “Spaces In Between.” Everything has those “spaces in between.” Without them, nothing would be distinguishable. I listened to the music that was being played and then sung. Without the spaces in between the notes, the music wouldn’t be music, it would be cacophony, just plain noise with no beginning, middle, end. There would be no meaning, no discernable patterns. I watched the maple leaves dance and bounce in the wind that blew. Without the spaces in between, there would be no shape to the leaves. I wouldn’t know if it were a maple, an oak, an aspen, a birch. I might not even know it was a tree. Without the spaces in between, the clouds would not be. There would be no distinction between infinite sky and the clouds that were bringing or carrying away some kind of weather. Without the spaces in between, the people that I could recognize, would be a smear of humanity and color. Maybe there would be no color since there would be no spaces in between to be able to discern differences in color. I would not be me and you would not be you without the spaces in between.
I listened to the music, the notes rising and falling, bouncing this way and that to produce the spaces that turned the notes into a recognizable “Amazing Grace,” one of my favorites. My thoughts went with gratitude to my friend’s life and the lives of each person filling that lovely chapel. There are spaces in between that create as much of a life as the events they separate. My breath, steady and smooth, had spaces in between. My heartbeat had spaces in between. Imperceptible, of course, but there nonetheless. How important those spaces are in everything. We celebrate the important events in our lives, we celebrate the notes that make the music, the color that harkens autumn, the times that bring us together. But none of them would truly be without the spaces in between.
I believe the soul of the universe lives in and fills, creates and IS the spaces in between. It is rich and full and beautiful. As rich and full and beautiful as the notes, color, lines that distinguish. Stop today, stop each day and cherish the spaces in between. Be grateful for the gifts the spaces bring to everything. Celebrate the spaces in between as you celebrate the filling in between those spaces.