Sunday Best – December 16, 2018

My! People come and go so quickly here!

    – Dorothy, The Wizard of Oz


The solstice is approaching this week, when the Northern hemisphere earth tips back towards the light. It’s a time of betwixt and between – we’re ending one season, and one calendar year, and there’s often a big fuss to clearly mark the end of one thing and the beginning of the next.

But in the in-between, in the tipping spots, lots of good stuff lives. In ecotones, like salt marshes or mangroves, we see a great buzz of biodiversity and rapid evolution and near-miraculous transformation. Salt water that turns to fresh! Creatures that live on both land and sea!

At the intersections of other systems we see the same kind of potential for transformation, like the fascinating group Health Care Without Harm that I encountered last week. Working at the intersection of environmental health and human health (which, in the end, are not so separate at all), this organization has helped to eliminate mercury from hospitals, eradicate toxic building materials, and even improve hospital food.

It’s uncomfortable, being in that liminal in-between space, where we’ve left one familiar spot but have not yet arrived at the next. To avoid that queasy, floaty feeling, usually we do what we can to hurry through the transition, back to firmer ground. Is it 2018 or 2019? Are we on land or at sea?

But, dear friends, let’s pause here, on the edge the light, for just a moment. Take a deep breath. Feel the turning. Stretch out, and feel the edges on either side. Float in a patch of in-between.

See what might be transformed.

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