Have you ever noticed where weeds are most intrusive in the garden?Where the forest erupts in plant diversity? Where shellfish thrive?
On the edges.
The boundaries of the raised bed, the forest floor, and the ocean shore are teaming with life.
I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over.
Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
- Kurt Vonnegut
A former supervisor used to visit the concept of growing edges in my employee review. She wanted to know where I was expanding and challenging myself and also what support she could offer.
I was uncomfortable with this concept. Visiting your boundaries requires admitting that you have room to grow, that you are full of imperfection.
Standing on the edge comes with a risk of falling and failing. Sometimes the waves splash and the weeds scratch. Sometimes breaking through boundaries feels exhausting and overwhelming.
Growing edges in nature are so intensive because resources are bountiful at boundaries. Newly turned soil at garden bed edges expose weed seeds. Ocean water splashing and pooling on the shore allow fish fry, algae, and shellfish to thrive. The sunlight at the edge of a forest gives plants an opportunity to flourish.
The idea of 'growing edges' was introduced to me over a decade ago. For most of the intervening time, my pride and discomfort have largely kept me far from the shore. I've busied myself with providing for others instead of bettering myself.
Eventually I realized that residing in my personal growing edges brings more resources to me. More courage comes when I take a step into the fray. More peace materializes when I change my fear of the edge to love. I experience layer upon layer of growth by becoming comfortable with the unknown abundance awaiting me.
I took a little break from this writing space to explore some edges recently. I'm ready to return and grateful for those of you still here.