Wait! There is Grace..
Not to ignore or negate the very real unknowns that hang in the air, nor to disregard the very real threats to our democratic system that seem to be emerging, but to lean in the direction of lightness and grace as a commitment to balance, here are a few of the major moments of remarkable grace that have refined, redefined, and re-created my life. In no particular chronological or hierarchical order:
Disappearing Sand Beach, Kono, Hawaii, Full Moon, August, 1986
Stoned and drunk out of my mind, staggering on the beach, cursing the air I breathed, a voice from nowhere said to me, “It’s going to be alright.” Terrified, I started upward, “What, what the fuck? Who said that?” There was nobody there but me. The voice replied, “It already is alright.” I have not had a drink since that moment.
October, 2006, Hospice, Red Bank, New Jersey
My mother’s breathing is noisy, almost busy. It has been a long few days, sitting with her as she prepares to leave. For no reason at all, I am left alone with her, my family disappeared, elsewhere. I pray and pray some more, silently and aloud, my anxiety so high for so long that I am beyond-spent. I read to her from the only book I have, Dog Is My Co-Pilot, stories about our relationships with our fabulous canine companions. Through sheer exhaustion, I quiet. Her breath gets louder, one big gasp emerges. Phew, I think, that wasn’t it, was it? Wait, was that it? That was it. I take the next breath without her, for the first time in my fifty-eight years, I breathe without her breath accompanying mine on the planet. It is the most exquisite and excruciating moment of my life, one of the most profound blessings I have been given, to be with her as she leaves, as she was with me, as I arrived. I somehow, eventually, find my feet, find my legs, find the nurse, I find my car. I find the earth. I find new legs to walk upon new earth. I find the adult that I now am able to become without her.
Sunrise, January, 2017, Richmond, Ma.
We walk. Well, I walk, he prances. He’s full of himself today. Stopping, smelling the perfect blades of grass, his hair wet and poking up in punky spikes. He pees here, he smells there, he is busy and alive and I adore him, like I adore no one. We walk down the dirt road, his silvery face all busy and engaged. Several beads of ice hang from his fabulous beard, its greying silver highlighted by the ice. I smile at his centered busyness, my enlightened monk wearing the most adorable furry dog costume one could imagine. We round the bend. Richmond Pond lies before us, dawn cracking over the sky to our left. Rays of light shine down upon us. All is right, here and now. Nothing needs to be different. I know this inside of me, outside of me, I know this profoundly. I know this deeply. I know this—forever. Until I forget. Give me a moment or so.
Dear Readers, Now it’s your turn. Big events or little events, consider the moments in which something else was running the show beside your brilliant and wacko mind. What were your moments—today or decades ago—that remind you that we are blessed and we are safe. Surely we have not been brought this far to be abandoned now.
Keep me posted, dear friends. I’d love to hear some of your moments.