Life abounds in these transitional spaces
I am fascinated with “edges,” all those natural transitional spaces.
I am drawn to the plants at the edge or border of a garden in the sun, where the shorter plants offer a profusion of blooms to attract the bees and butterflies as their sunny borders segue into the lawns where robins listen for their next earthy meal, the wild rabbits find the sweet clover hidden in the grass, and my dog rolls over to expose her belly to the sun.
I am drawn to the gardens in the dappled shade of the trees transitioning to the woods, where the ferns, hostas, and shade-loving plants offer cover for butterflies and insects, a couple of crows build their nest in a tall oak, the squirrels clean themselves of mites with a roll in the cool earth, and a wren claims squatter’s rights in an old woodpecker hole.
I am drawn to the woods behind our house that back up to farmland, to that space where shade-loving trees meet sun-loving grasses, where the groundhog hibernates in its burrow, the fox has a den, and the chipmunks hide their winter store.
I am drawn to the water’s edge when we visit the beach in the summer, where the waves hypnotically push and pull the sand, and the sand crabs, roly polies, and beach hoppers live.
I am drawn to the shoreline—the boundary between the land, sand, and water—where seagulls hunt the fish in the shallow waters of tide pools, and shellfish and mollusks attach themselves to rocks, docks, marinas, and boats.
I am drawn to the dawn, a twilight in reverse, when the blurred edges of the night give way to the bright light-focused rays of the sun, when the mother fox creeps back to her den of kits, and the birds begin their morning serenade.
I am drawn to twilight, when the bats emerge to eat their fill of the night insects, when the frogs, toads, and peepers begin their evening concert, and fireflies begin their courtship of blinking lights in late June.
You see, ecosystems meet at the edges, creating diverse habitats, acting as buffers for nature’s wrath, and contributing to the resilience and stability of the environment.
And if you are at all spiritual, it is at the edges where the inner being meets the corporeal, where questions are answered, and where true communion begins.
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