The In-Between

I spent today in the in-between, standing on the bridge that connects where I’ve been and where I’m going. We moved into Brandon’s grandma’s house in Copley this past weekend, and although it’s now our brown couches we sit on in the living room, our photos propped up on our bookshelf, our candles lit and lamps aglow, it still feels like vacation, like transition, like unknown.

I know that this feeling will fade as our stuff settles and collects our own dust, as novelty and newness becomes regular and routine. Right now, in the in-between, I am celebrating so many possibilities, so many new hopes for the future right as the future begins to unfold.

From this high ground– because the in-between somehow always comes with altitude and vision– I can glimpse what the future looks like. In quiet moments looking out over our new backyard, I have witnessed the spirits of distant backyard gatherings. As I sit back in one of the lounge chairs in the living room, I can imagine the Christmas tree twinkling in the window, a fire roaring, friends and relatives laughing and eating. As I climbed the bleachers at the Copley homecoming game last Friday night with the kids, I could feel the rapid pace of seasons on the breeze until ten years away arrived and it was my children I watched march down the field, my children on the defensive line, my children in the high school student section, my children cheering on the track.

But today, Lyd and Elvis got on the school bus and went off to Arrowhead Primary. Henry “helped” us around the house as we did laundry and cleaned, prepped for painting more in the basement, and put away more boxes. And this afternoon, I picked out some new artwork for the living room, blending the old with some new. House, house, house, someday soon home.

Tomorrow is my last day at Ashland University as administrative director and managing editor, after seven years with the MFA program, Ashland Poetry Press, and River Teeth. In a week and a half, I will begin my new position at Case Western Reserve University as managing editor in the marketing office of the Weatherhead School of Management.

Here in the in-between, I straddle the pivot point of a teeter-totter, balancing the love I have for a place I must leave and the excitement I have about a place that is yet unknown. How do you stay in this place for long, straining your hamstrings and calf muscles as the two by eight quivers and wavers?

It’s coming. The moment when the in-between closes and the gap between the past and future shrinks back down to the plain old present. But the present, wow, what a place to be!

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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