I bet every person who read this title got that Aerosmith tune stuck in their heads! As I took the picture of this tree hanging out on the side of a cliff in Colorado, it was the first thing that came to my mind.
It's hard to believe we have been away from home for over three weeks! It has felt longer, but then again, we have done so much in such a short span of time. We have traveled across the country, site-seeing on the way out; and since we have been in Oregon we have taken a weekend trip down into California. Not to mention getting settled in and starting up work and homeschooling schedules. Phew...
You may be wondering how we landed in Oregon... Jon was offered a 7-week nursing contract a few months ago. Many factors weighed in on the decision to take it, but we remembered dreaming about visiting the west coast at the beginning of the year. We said it would be our first choice if we could afford to go. Then, Jon took it a bit further and said he would love to spend at least four weeks living near the ocean. We sat those dreams on a shelf, but not too far out of reach, as we poured into building the Safe Place business. A few months later we packed up our life, loaded a trailer full of Safe Place beds, and away we went!
Fast forward to standing on top of a mountain, looking at a tree livin' on the edge, I began to ponder. How did that tree get there? Why is it still alive? How does it relate to my (and your) own journey? So, I did some research.
Not all trees can live on the edge of cliffs, while others thrive there. According to priweb.org, the roots have to continually penetrate the rock (literally splitting it over time) to get to the nutrients needed to survive. At the same time roots wrap and cling onto the rocks to hang on (for lack of better words).
Makes me think about life... We all have our "edge". For some it's taking a brand new adventure, for others it's pushing their bodies to the max, while for some it's advocating for their child's needs. The list is limitless. But, for all, the "edge" is that place where you no longer feel comfortable. I'm not afraid of heights, but as I stood over the railing while a storm was picking up to get that shot of the tree, I felt uncomfortable!!
Most trees live in the soft soil, where their roots can penetrate easily and they can spread out and reach high in the sky. They thrive where they are, and that's a beautiful thing. But, those trees also miss out on seeing the eye of a storm coming across the horizon and the thrill of hanging on for dear life when the winds begin to blow. Their leaves aren't the first to feel the warm rays of sunshine in the morning hours, or oversee the vast valley below. Ok, I'm sounding a bit ridiculous here! The point is... we can remain comfortable in our soft soil or we can venture out to our edges. Yes, we will have to push through some hard stuff and learn to cling to the Rock. There is sacrifice involved in both places. But, we will become stronger and experience a thrill in life we never thought imaginable. Believe it or not, we are ALL created to live on the edge.
Dr. Larson, an ecologist, said, "There is something wonderful about animals and plants that depend on cliffs. They're there because no one else can live there. They have a physiological toughness that allows them to sit out in these places that nothing else can touch, and they thrive there."
Not all are willing to risk leaving their safety zones. And who would blame them? It's scary! But there are those trailblazers, the forerunners, who will say yes to the stirrings in their hearts and take a step toward the unknown.
I would like to believe I have this "living on the edge" thing figured out, but as I journey through life, I realize I am just a little seedling pushing my way through the rock and at the same time gripping on for dear life, all while trying to get a glimpse of the horizon. I have a feeling I'm not the only one...
What is your edge? Is it worth the risk?
Until next time... allow that Aerosmith song to radiate through your brain and
live without limits...