boundaryless lessons from rural Canada?

How do you know you’re not cutting your neighbour’s grass?

Travelling through rural Canada I notice properties don’t have boundaries. At least not visible ones. There are no walls, fences or even shrubs to mark the limits of one property, or to mark out the boundary with another.

Maybe it’s to do with space? When you have the large amounts of land they do here, maybe the space itself removes a need for boundary? Maybe the land is forgiving, so the people become so too?

In life, we tend to create boundaries for safety; to keep out potential intruders into our personal space. Silence is one of our best employed boundaries; keeping others out. Or, we create boundaries of belonging; tribes and groups that provide safety against threat from other tribes.

Maybe it’s the very marking out of where you stop and I begin, that creates the boundary between us? Be it between groups or individuals.

Yet in relationships of all sorts, we mark out our territory, then check with the other person whether it is safe to proceed. An office door – a polite knock. A first date – holding hands. A bag on the neighbouring train seat – permission to sit down.

I wonder how it would be for us to give each other all the space these Canadian home owners do? And if we did, whether our relationships would also become boundaryless?  A land where there is space. Space to be different, space to be free, space for autonomy, space to have purpose, space for compassion and humanity? Space for each other?

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