Centuries ago, mankind used to believe that the world was flat, and one could sail off the edge into the Great Abyss if one weren’t careful and got too far from land.  Most mariners dared not venture too far out to sea, but found ways to operate within their preconceived boundaries.  Today, we know that’s not true, but can you imagine the sense of adventure those first sailors experienced while they were discovering this?

Many years ago I was driving down a local highway where I used to live.   I came to a small bridge that crosses the headwaters of the picturesque Corrotoman River. .At the end of the bridge, there is a steep embankment dropping to the water.  Trees shrouded the bank in deep shadows, yet at the edge of the shadows, dancing in the bright sunlight and summer breezes, was a profusion of Queen Ann’s lace and orange day lilies.  The sharp contrast of sunlit flowers against the dark shadows on the edge of the bank was startling in its beauty.  I raced the ten miles or so home to get my camera, then hurriedly drove back to photograph the scene.  As I picked my way through the tall weeds, I noticed a curious thing.  None of the Queen Ann’s lace or day lilies grew down the edge of the embankment.  Butterflies and insects flitted about the flowers, but all was still and quiet in the deep shadows at the edge of the drop.  They were living on the edge.  But they, like many of us, had no reason to explore further.

Some years later, after I had moved to the mountains, I pulled out those photos and created a painting based on that experience.  I titled it “Living On The Edge.”  This painting has always had a certain amount of personal meaning for me.  Where would I be, where would any of us be, without our “edges?”  What do we do when we reach our preconceived boundaries?

I’ve lived on many edges during my life.  Most have brought about a lot of change as I dove off the end!  At this particular time, I seem to be living on the edge again.  Our youngest automobile is fifteen years old; we need a newer one.  Our heat pump/AC died in June; we need a new one.  I’ve been working on a book for three years, and am anxious to publish, but have to wend my way through the editing process.  My Man Jim and I have been weighing the possibility of selling our home, downsizing, and buying a place with a much smaller and more manageable yard.  Finally, as we seek God’s will in our lives, we are also considering some changes in the path He seems to be leading us down.  Lots of edges!  Lots of potential changes!  Not a whole lot of specific direction, yet…  So much going on, yet nothing is happening.

knowI feel it in my bones, that we are on the cusp of something, but what?  Will we fall off the edge into the abyss, or sail on towards a new world?  We don’t have a specific reason to go further yet, but why not?  What lies beyond the edge?  Patience is not my strong point!  I don’t want to sit on this cusp forever, and we’ve been bouncing around on some of these issues for several years.  I want to get moving NOW!  Alas, my timing is not God’s timing, and God is always right on time.  What’s a person t do?

I can practice being grateful, that’s what I can do! . Grateful that our cars still work, even if not as reliable as we’d like, and that Jim is a good mechanic who can fix them most of the time  Grateful that the AC unit for our bedroom area still works, so we have some respite from the heat after a long, hot day, until we can get a new unit installed for the rest of the house.    Grateful that my son, John, is my editor extraordinaire, who helps me in ways an anonymous editor couldn’t, and who does the best he can under his own time constraints.   Grateful that we have a decent home in spite of the pain-in-the-neck difficult yard maintenance.  Grateful for listening hearts and guidance from friends as we navigate the changes we see before us.  I’m learning to be grateful for what I do have rather than lamenting what I don’t have.  So, let this adventure unfold in its own time.  Living on the edge beckons!  I’m grateful for that!

Jean Carter Kimble's Pastel Art