It’s funny that growing up on the east coast, anytime I went to the beach, I never thought about standing on the edge of the North American continent. Yet, not long ago, watching this couple standing and staring out at the Pacific, it immediately struck me that after sharing a pleasant conversation they would stroll back contentedly in the direction they came . I began to wonder what happens when we reach an endpoint. Do we recognize it as one? Can we just reverse course or try to find an alternative? When explorers came upon the Grand Canyon or the Rockies, they traveled around, over , or sometimes through. What propelled them forward and gave them confidence to keep moving? When relationships end or careers cease to exist, whether by choice or circumstance, how do we find a new path? Seeing our situation in a new way is difficult. Those of us with closets full of clothes that no longer fit totally understand how hard it is to admit to an end.What inspires us to make different choices? Each of us reacts differently when reaching that edge of the world. Some are grateful to be forced to take action. Revisiting their past for clues,or being exhilarated by the challenge to create a new path are other reactions. Maybe for some of us, just relaxing into the rhythm of the waves and taking time to appreciate the view for its beauty gives us time to make sense of our feelings and try on possibilities.Without an instruction book ( not that I’d read it anyway) , the best we can do is borrow a compass and take the first steps in a new direction.
November 14, 2012
Standing at the Edge