Grace, understanding, and healing

The concept of grace can mean many things. In nature, for example, there's the way a flock of mallards, early in the morning, circles for a landing on a marsh pond. As the ducks come in low over the water, with wings cupped, you can see every bird gliding together in a moment of perfect, unstudied symmetry. I've also seen this kind of natural instinctive grace in a deer running through the woods. Suddenly all the barriers of underbrush or fallen trees will seem to vanish in a blur of speed and agility that no Olympic hurdler could ever hope to match.

Then there's the grace of a ballerina, perhaps having to do with a certain style, form, and rhythm that capture the essential, inherent beauty of her art. Or, in another way, grace could characterize the manner in which a courageous individual comports himself or herself when meeting a particularly difficult trial in life. I knew a woman who, for me, epitomized this steady courage and who taught me many valuable lessons through the strength and quiet poise of her example.

A hard lesson
May 29, 1989

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