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Edges

Every morning, at dawn, I walk the beach, here in this lovely place. This is an edge; it is a liminal time, the in between, where land meets sea and night meets day, although I try not to think about that. It’s not a time for reflection, but more an act of presence, this mile long there and back. I guess it’s a kind of meditation, though my Centering Prayer anchor word doesn’t quite fit the rhythm of walking, so instead I use the Jesus Prayer as my feet follow one another across the coarse golden sand. Later there will be enough time for thinking. For now, being here is enough.

The dividing line is always indistinct. When does a day begin and a night end?  But when a boundary doesn’t present itself with binary clarity it nevertheless still exists. There is night and there is day. There is land and there is sea. 
Some days the sun rises gaudily through the clouds and the dawn gathers in the perforated sand. Some days the shadows are as beautiful as the clear, straight, strong light. But not today. It has rained all night and is raining still. The silver clouds and sea merge into one another as imperceptibly as do the greying  night and day. The whole geography of the beach has changed: where there was a small weak stream that insinuated itself flatly into the sand there is now an impetuous little creek bustling self importantly into the ocean.; there are sand cliffs a metre or two high where yesterday all was flat; logs, some looking like they weigh a lot more than I do, lie where the last of the waves has carelessly discarded them. Nothing is still. Always there is change. 

I turn at the end of the beach and follow my own footprints home. On this little pilgrimage, I might have followed a thousand different paths  along the beach, but I took this one. I look at its course and it tells me of my countless unconscious decisions: where I stopped to look and where I discerned the easy path and where my set purpose drove me straight. This path along the beach is like my life, an accumulation of the choices made. 

 Consciousness itself is a kind of edge. It is the space between being and not being. I live my conscious life in the tension between ten thousand oppositions, some more easily discerned than others. I make my choices and so forge my life. It is all so wild and powerful, even when it seems benign. It is all so purposeful, even when is seems most precarious.  

It is all so beautiful. 

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