(excerpt from Relationships that Heal by Diane Tegtmeier)
Where are the boundaries between river and sea, where gulls gather to feast upon the richness at the interface? When water and sand meet, each changes the other, moment by moment by moment. You know that river, sea, waves and shore are different from each other, yet where are the boundaries between them? There are no boundaries in nature, only interactive fields of relationship. How does nature manage the complex relationships formed as the edge of one system touches another?
I’m sitting at the edge of the North American continent at what was once the easternmost edge of the Russian Empire—Fort Ross, California. Just south of here the Russian River meets the Pacific Ocean. The nature of the relationship formed as one ecosystem meets another profoundly affects the health of both. Each is a world of its own, nurturing, sustaining and healing itself as part of the larger living, breathing web of life. All ecosystems and cultures touch others. In the places where they meet, each experiences a bit of the other, to stretch beyond familiar patterns and possibly to grow. Awareness is heightened at the edge. Here at Fort Ross, Russians, Spaniards and Native Americans met at culture’s edge. Today, threads of all these peoples are woven into the evolving landscape and culture of this place.
Human relationships are like the meetings between ecosystems, organisms and the cells of all living things. Nature repeats patterns throughout all dimensions of life. It is in meeting or touching another that we can both discover and express who we are. In the space of our meeting, we may be called upon to shift and grow, to learn and discover. We come together and often bring each other to the edge of what we know about ourselves and what’s ready to evolve in each of us. Patterns lying deep within come to the surface, like shells brought from the ocean’s depth as waves meet the shore. We risk change when we come to our edge and invite others to theirs.
I invite you to step more consciously into nature’s web as you meet others at the edge in relationship.
Come to the Edge the voice said softly
No they said it’s too high
Come to the edge the voice insisted
No she said it’s too dangerous
Come to the edge the voice demanded
No he said I might fall
Come to the edge the voice commanded
Reluctantly, I came to the edge
He pushed me off
And I flew.