There is a walk path on the edge of a cliff by the beach where we live. On one side of the path is an expanse of multicolored mini wildflowers running off the side of the earth. Beyond the flowers, blue ocean, sunny sky, and flying birds complete the view.
The same twinkly wildflowers run along the other side of the path, up to the edge of an eight-foot tall salmon-colored stucco wall. Behind the wall looms the salmon stucco palace of one of our local billionaires who seems to not be home very much.
I am grateful to that guy, though I don’t know him personally, for sponsoring the planting and irrigating of the wildflowers that enhance the view from his castle as well as my view from the public path. I feel kind of sorry for him too. I wonder whether he enjoys the view as much as I do or if he looks out and just sees the crumbling of the hill, the spots where the animals have nested, or the cost of maintaining a flower field where not long ago there was only eroding dirt and scrub.
It’s gotta take a lot to hold up a cliff that nature wants to bring down. I do my part to help out by walking further from the edge than I need to. When Ax and his friends try to climb the cliff from the beach down below I tell them to stay on the rocky parts not the sandy parts if they can.
It would probably be even more helpful if they stayed off the cliff altogether, but these days I try to stay out of the business of fighting nature. Keeping kids from climbing hills they want to climb is not how I want to spend my life. It’s not how I want to show up for them or for myself. I’ve spent some time keeping myself from climbing hills I wanted to climb and tackling others that weren’t a great match for my nature. It’s a rough way to live.
So I let them climb the hills they want to climb and I’m gonna let myself climb the hills I want to climb too. I’m done trying to make my life a carpet of multicolored wildflowers when what comes naturally without any special effort might be dirt and scrub, or something even more wonderful.