This is a mandorla.

 It’s a good image for this span of time.

Mandorla means “almond” in Italian. It is the space where two circles intersect, where two opposites come together. I think of it is a kind of intertidal zone between being beached and bereft and being oceanic and immersed.

A mandorla suggests there is a space where both/and are possible, where time and timelessness join hands, where rich interconnection and exchange is possible.

Potential stirs in this almond-shaped space; new worlds, new consciousness, the realm of God emerges out of tending such space. Time is ripe here.

Our spiritual ancestors and the mystics, modern and ancient, know this space well and speak of awakening consciousness, of personal transformation, of birthing a planetary shift of consciousness.

It is uncomfortable and disorientating in this almond-shaped space. It is troubling and demanding. The old ways are dying and the “new is still too young to be born.” -John O’Donohue.

It is here hope matters and courage is stirred.

We need new spiritual practice to perceive the invitations that help us yield to the almond-shaped space. Rooting ourselves here is demanding and we will learn to “rise up rooted like trees.” – Rilke. We will learn to plant our feet firmly in this world God loves with our hearts resting in the Divine.

“Those who would lose their life will find it; and those who would keep it will lose it.” –Jesus.

In this Advent season, in this in-between way, we practice learning to see with the eyes of the heart. We breathe “joining the in-breath and the out-breath with the One Breath of the universe” – Hildegard. We notice prompts from the work and words of our spiritual ancestors so we many learn from them. Even though they rest from their labours, their work still follows and is ours to carry on.

Photo/video Credit: Kendall Harrison.
Taken at Pocologan, New Brunswick. In the right of the photo is the Point Lepreau Nuclear Reactor in the distance. The photo/video captures the image of mandorla as a metaphor of the beauty and challenge in this span of time.

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