Beauty at the Edge

For the last two years, I have gone to Moab, Utah to camp and ride the trails. One of the Jeep roads goes through Hurrah Pass, and it took us on a winding path through steep canyon walls. We happened to look up just as we rounded a corner and saw a red rock, precariously balanced at the edge of the cliff. Shawn and I both felt it's beauty as we reached for the camera.

When reviewing the pictures at home, I chose to print a set of small, blank cards with this image and superimposed the line There is beauty at the edge. Then I stored them on a shelf with my other greeting cards for later use.

Two weeks ago, I opened my card boxes, looking for the perfect one to give to a close acquaintance who was retiring earlier than she had planned, and my hands gravitated toward the balanced rock. Sitting down to gather my thoughts, I wrote that though she may feel as if she had been pushed to the edge, my hope for her was to find some beauty in the experience.

A few days after her retirement celebration, she called unexpectedly to express her appreciation for the card, to explain how she related personally to the picture, and to share how it had revealed a new perspective. When the conversation was finished, I smiled and marveled at the beauty of the connections that can be deepened through written correspondence and felt grateful that she had taken time to extend the bond back to me.

Then I began to reflect... How often do we make an impact (with words or cards or actions) and not realize it? 

What kinds of beauty can be found when we feel like we're about to lose our balance at the edge? 

How can we face and embrace the cliffs in our lives without toppling over?

Some doorways from this week:
  • My family had a heart-breaking and emotionally exhausting day on Sunday, and I was in church by myself. I walked across the sanctuary from where I typically sit to talk with one of the staff members and ended up connecting with a friend who invited me to sit with her. It was comforting to be next to someone who understood my tears and would hold my hand. This was the beauty at my edge.
  • While shopping for groceries (in my wheelchair) two of the items I needed (bread and eggs) were on the very top shelves of their respective aisles. As I was eyeing the height, two separate women, one for each item, offered assistance and carefully selected the product as if they were buying it for themselves.
  • My bird feeders in my back yard usually bring chickadees and finches, but this week I got an unexpected visitor in this woodpecker!


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