Edge habitat

April is here, so the sides of my oft-visited fire trails here in Mill Valley have updated their attire from mud and mushrooms to a few native flowers but mostly rattlesnake grass, dandelions, thistles, and Scotch broom.

I remembered a phrase I heard from biologists many years ago about "edge habitat."  The principle being that when you take a nice whole habitat and you cut it up in unnatural ways, such as installing a fire road, invasive and weedy things tend to overrun these "edges."  And either crowd out native species or otherwise degrade the environment.

Of course, there is some very delicate beauty in a stalk of rattlesnake grass and my dogs and I get a lot of joy out of fire trails. (Including using them as a spot for sketching, as today.)  And, technically speaking, not all habitat edges are man-made nor are they detrimental.

Anyhow, I'm not about to start a campaign to rid ourselves of fire trails. But I do wish I could rip up all the weeds as I walk along.  Does one need permission?

So what about other kinds of wholeness, brokenness and what grows at those disrupted edges?

What edges have I (or my environment) created in my mind, heart, digestive tract?  In my social life?

(If I hadn't been too lazy to read Colin Campbell's "Whole", I bet I'd already know the answer about the digestive tract question. Although I trust several folks who have read it and generally avoid processed food.)

Where will it be worth investing in some more wholeness?  And maybe some weeding? I'm sure there's a relationship to meditation here.  Those weeds are just a little harder to see.


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