Grace in the Great Gray

I held an angel named Grace.

Last week, I held an angel named Grace.

I held her in my arms. I touched Grace. I looked closely at Grace. In her eyes I sensed compassion and peace. I felt a spirit of love. I felt a body of surrender. Arms folded in a contentedness, a contentment that we often struggle to find in life.

Grace, shared with permission of her parents, Crasha and Lewis Townsend

I studied her face closely. All petite and gentle. Her complexion – a beautiful brown. She was light and heavy all at the same time. I held peace and pain in my arms at the same time. I held joy and sorrow in my arms at the same time, happiness and sadness. Grief and gratefulness. I held contradictions and the point of intersection in my arms simultaneously. Grace.

Grace is that point of intersection in life when in the midst of oppositional forces, there is yet another invisible unseen Presence. Grace was wrapped in a purple blanket with one pink hair bow. She fit snugly in my arms. Her eyes were closed, softly silent.

Grace, shared with permission from her parents, Crasha and Louis Townsend

She had received the call — the call that we all will receive to transition to another journey. I have never been quite comfortable with the word death and its seeming finality and cold harshness. Even with my mom who was the last angel I saw, I couldn’t quite bring myself to say she was dying– that I had brought her home with lung cancer to __________________________ I just drew a blank line — a fill in the space — in my journal.

This is a season of transitions. Many angels are being given their wings all around the world at an astonishing pace. We should begin to understand this phenomenon more intensely without fear.

I believe we are all born as angels for our births are divine miracles as are our transitions — miracles. Women are portals of new life. Our bodies are portals of energy and energy does not die. It shifts and changes but does not die. Yet the shift is often such a shock, startling and stirring us at depths we didnt know we had– both the birth and the transition.

The transition is often gut wrenching…a separation of an unseen umbilical cord that connects humanity. We who have not yet been given wings to fly, to be liberated from the narrow confines of our physicality, are left behind. Yet we are left behind because we have a charge to keep, an assignment for we are all on assignment here. We are all angels here with a charge to keep. We often ask ourselves, what is this charge, our purpose the meaning of it all…all of it.

This question of meaning and purpose becomes incessant at times, often when we are left behind, consumed with grief and a profound sadness, a pain of the spirit that runs deep into our soul.

What what what

why why why

who who who

how how how?

It repeats itself… unwittingly in early morning hours alone in front of the Great Gray —

The Great Gray, 5 am

watching waves chase waves to the shore… to my feet.

I scan the shore line. I am alone. Me and the waves in the intermingled blackness of night, whiteness of the surf, and the Great Gray blending with the horizon.

The loudness of the waves startles even me. What are they saying to me? Are they trying to answer the

why why why

what what what

who who who

how how how?

The dawn is dawning. I look up into the Great Gray.

Scanning it slowly and then..without warning or announcement, I see it. I see grace. It is why I come to the Great Gray. Why I come down from the mountains of Blacksburg to see and worship in front of the Great Gray. I come to see grace in the Great Gray. Grace and gracefulness in the Gray. At first it is just one … almost solitary … like me seemingly alone in the Great Gray.

But we are never alone. Ever.

We just have not refined our senses to see and hear in the gray of life. Moving gracefully through the water …majestic and calm. The tell-tale traingular black fin appearing through the gray. In the gray I recognize the black, gliding along appearing and disappearing .. visible and invisible.

I see that the one is not alone. There are others. They, of the black fins, are never alone. They swim and play in groups as majestic manifestations of grace and gracefulness.

Because every now and then we need to watch dolphins play to remind us to play, too.

Posted by Menah Pratt-Clarke on Thursday, September 24, 2020

They remind me that we are never alone either. We just have to look with different senses for the grace in the gray. We have to find our own blowholes to breath differently … to live differently.

I want to breath differently. Live differently.

We cannot, nay, we should not hold an angel named Grace in our arms and not remind ourselves of our charge to keep before we get our wings to fly.

I know that I cannot. I cannot hold an angel named Grace in my arms and not be changed. I thank the parents for the gift of Grace, for allowing me to be in the presence of grace and grief and to hold an angel named Grace in my arms and to be reminded of the Grace in the Great Gray of life.

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