The Growing Edge

The Growing Edge

May 19, 2020 | By Jen Higgins-Newman, BHFH Program Manager

I remember being a child physically growing. Sometimes I didn’t notice it happening — I’d wake up one day, and my shoes no longer fit, or my jeans were too short. Sometimes, it felt painful — my body aching in new places, stretching and pushing in awkward ways.

But that’s how our bodies grow. 

I think back to those times as an adult, and remind myself that in moments when I feel frustrated and out of control, it might mean I’ve found my growing edge. Right now, I am growing in ways that feel hard and painful.

Howard Thurman understood this much better than I do when he wrote:

All around us worlds are dying and new worlds are being born; all around us life is dying and life is being born. The fruit ripens on the tree, the roots are silently at work in the darkness of the earth against a time when there shall be new lives, fresh blossoms, green fruit. Such is the growing edge! It is the extra breath from the exhausted lung, the one more thing to try when all else has failed, the upward reach of life when weariness closes in upon all endeavor. This is the basis of hope in moments of despair, the incentive to carry on when times are out of joint and men have lost their reason, the source of confidence when worlds crash and dreams whiten into ash. The birth of a child — life’s most dramatic answer to death — this is the growing edge incarnate. Look well to the growing edge!

—Howard Thurman, The Growing Edge

I’m trying to “look well to the growing edge” as I figure out how to proceed.

But I have questions I need to answer in my life and in my job that I cannot answer now. And this patience is hard. This growing period is painful. 

But I also know that I am not alone. That others are going through similar things in life right now.

So, here’s to our growing! May we find hope and new life on the other side, even if it’s difficult today. 

In Light and community,
Jen

P.S. The photo at the top is of the little sprouts our Residency and Operations Director Jeff Edenberg is growing on our deck.