Last night I walked with a friend around my neighborhood. Among homes. Also alongside fields that have horses and cows. We walked in a city park with mowed grass and baseball diamonds. I live in an area where urban meets rural. My neighborhood has edges. It’s where one thing transforms to another.
It’s not new to be interested in the edges. Many of us are, and have made it our life work to encounter edges with people. Sometimes deeply personal (though I’ve come to claim that it’s all personal — it all relates to beliefs and experiences that are indeed personal). With hope of learning. With hope of transformations. With hope of community.
I feel a certain awe (the quiet kind) this morning in thinking about the danger of edges. It is true that some edges are cliffs over which there is deathly fall. Some are boundaries to a lot of danger. Some edges are dangerous even for their newness. And, it is true over millennia, that many have sought to protect from the edges. To not encounter them. To enforce boundary.
There is a kind of consciousness that I believe we humans are being required to encounter now that needs a different relationship with edges. The scale of environmental crisis is one example that invokes this from us humans. As, for example, fires burn, massively in California, USA and in New South Wales, Australia. Or, there is a kind of mentality that continues to escalate manipulated truth or lies for the sake of gain (though I’m not sure anymore what “gain” even means) — political rhetoric in many countries provides ample material here.
This morning, I find myself thinking of three wishes for all of us that lean into the edges daring to depart from one form to another. This morning, these wishes feel somber to me, but it feels important to stay with them.
- That we (all of us? enough of us?) have enough support to tip further into transformative awareness. Some of that support is commitment to personal practice. Some of it is spiritual orientation. Some of this is plain ability to challenge our fears. Some of this tipping is daring to depart from engrained patterns no matter how much sense they made once upon a time. A big hunk of this is being able to stay our scrambled interior that so often accompanies such change.
- That we have enough lasting and enduring community for the journey of the tipping further. I don’t know all of what this means. But it seems to entail some deliberateness of friendship, of witnessing, of ability to be in mess and unresolvedness together. Boatloads of courage needed here.
- That we, any of us, are able to skillfully apply (or be) enough of what we learn for betterment, for kindness, for consciousness, and for flow in times such as these. It’s the kind of application / being that changes who we are together, that restores more choices from a deeply human place to us not just as individuals, but as groups and communities.
When I walk with friends, often I get a dose of courage to go further, not shorter, with departures from superficial norms that I don’t think we humans have the luxury of maintaining any more.