Resting on the ground in the mountains recently, across the stream from a family of cows who lay gathered there, a shriek turned my gaze skyward to where Golden Eagle soared.
It felt so good to be in the company of Cows and Eagle. The grace of their presence melted me and I lapped it up. Falling deeply inside myself.
It felt like peace and ease, something falling from my shoulders and down my arms and back. A fruit swelling and ripening inside my chest.
I wonder about what helps us to notice grace and what gets in the way? And what is grace anyway?
A soaring bird is easy to feel and name as graceful. The effortless majesty. Eagle being itself and being so awesome. Sometimes grace is more subtle, more patience is needed to notice it.
I love how the cows are just living their life, lounging like Queens among wild flowers. The mother cow stood, her poo smeared bottom hovering just above her calf’s sweet face. At first glance it seemed gross. As time passed and I lay with the cows, I noticed that she was using her tail to waft flies away from her baby’s face. It was so precious.
I love that the word grace has the same root as the Spanish word for thank you; Gracias. Maybe another way to describe grace is thankfulness. Being in an attitude of thankfulness is a kind of graceful living.
As Eagle embodies grace, do we also?
Is life inherently graceful?
Can we get a sense of how to open to grace?
We see an animal or a dancer move with grace. Grasses rippling in the wind. A play of water and light. Moving with grace feels to me like moving from a place beyond thought, free of pretence. Something like a wild dignity. Radiance. The more we look for it the more we notice it.
Open to an elegance of life that could catch us unawares, that is sensed in unexpected places, in ordinary life.
Unhurried and open. Beyond right and wrong. Being ourselves.
Can we be relaxed and interested enough to look for grace in another ordinary human, in an ordinary moment of their life? Giving enough time and space to really see them. Their glory and their tenderness. Noticing how easy it is to shut down and shut out when we feel tired, let down, wrung out. In our hurry to get things done the first thing to go could be our willingness to notice the preciousness of life. When we are pressed, judgements can come like poisoned darts. Can we look for grace even when we are under pressure?
Taking time to notice and be thankful for the life around and within us, freely given and precious beyond words doesn’t mean we have to ignore pain and hard times. It doesn’t mean that disgraceful things don’t happen all the time. It means that we have the opportunity in every moment and every situation to remember grace and live from there.
Perhaps that is a way towards peace on Earth.
To remember that grace is reserved not only for soaring Eagle, but is there also in the mucky backside of Cow. To let grace come through us in our movement, speech and attitude. To take time and effort to notice the subtle grace which is in everything. To let that be our practice.