[Tweeters] Life Is A Grace Period

jeff gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Fri Nov 1 09:05:16 PDT 2013

I recently had an epiphany after purchasing my new close-focusing binoculars, which I can't seem to stop bragging about. ( Vortex Diamondback 8x42's super deal at Seattle Audubon for only $219, plus taxola).

While testing my new binocs close-focusing abilities,( as I posted about earlier), I read the fine print on the back of my credit card with my binocs. Amusingly, the first sentence I focused on was -"THERE IS NO GRACE PERIOD."

"Really?" I thought, " that seems like a sorry way to run your life!". Of course we do have to render unto Caesar, if you know what I mean. Gotta pay them bills

Life is a grace period in my view. Here's a poem I like that says a lot;

"A nephew rubs the sore feet
of his aunt,
and the rope that lifts us all towards grace
creaks in the pulley".

(from "Braided Creek: a conversation in poetry" by Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser).

Grace is a relationship, a connection, a communication. Grace calls and calls on the phone and nobody answers. Then one day Grace call's;

"Hello, this is Grace!" and somebody answers, "Oh Hi, this is Grace! Great to hear from you!" You have to be listening when the call comes in, or watching when the 'picture' comes on the ol' Grace screen.

There's a lot of grace in nature, I've noticed, and in sharing with folks about it. One moment I remember was a day down at Post Point in Bellingham years ago. I was appearing in the role of a grungy Bellingham hippy at the time and watching a River Otter on the shore, when a nicely dressed lady came walking down the tracks. Excited to see the otter, I asked the lady "hey, have you ever seen an Otter before, because here's your chance!" and I offered her my binocs. Well , she hadn't. " Wow!" she said, seeing the critter, "Thank You!". Grace occurred.

Of course Grace occurs, if you're available, with anything. Grace, with birds,lichens, barnacles, or clouds , could happen if you're interested. Nature is pretty generous, I'd say.

Grace is a giving and receiving thing. Can't get much if you don't give a bit. I greatly admire teachers who give so much, particularly in nature education. Maybe you're sharing with the kids in the woods, or in a classroom, or with folks on a bird field trip, when Grace occurs. It could even happen in a bar, talking about birds, when your bar neighbor shows you her cool bird tattoo. As many teachers know, the Grace of teaching works both ways- students are such great teachers. Maybe you've been the student of a Hutton's Vireo calling that particularly goofy call they do - I have, in a moment of Grace. Did the vireo experience Grace with an appreciative listener? Maybe so. Appreciation and respect are both ingredients of Grace, I think. Why wouldn't a bird like that?

Grace; hard to describe, and impossible to prove, nonetheless wonderful to enjoy. Hope you find some.

Jeff Gibson
Everett Wa

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