Grace and Gratitude.

Last night, just before bed, I opened the back door to see if it had cooled down at all (it hadn’t) and there was a praying mantis on our screen door.  They say they’re good luck.

This morning, before the sun had come up, out that same door, there were bats everywhere — swooping, dipping, soaring through the trees — feasting.

Now that the sun has come up, there are scores of brilliantly colored bluebirds  and woodpeckers scoring their morning grub. Quietly watching them, I am on the lookout for the family of deer who were seeking refuge behind the fallen trees yesterday, safely camouflaged and staying cool.

I am also taking deep breaths this morning, grateful to be gazing out on our quiet forest. Grateful to be here.

See, yesterday, as we were driving back up the mountain, towards home, a car coming down the mountain lost control. In a mere nanosecond, he was swerving into my lane, inches from my driver’s side door. I barely got out of his way before looking in my rear-view mirror to see billowing smoke and fluorescent sparks flying from his tires as he spun into donuts.

I found a safe place to turn around and drove back down to where I was worried he might have hit a tree. I wanted to make sure he was ok, but he’d driven off. All that was left, were spiraling black skid marks. There I was staring at those skid marks from the side of the road when I broke down over what a close call that was.  By the grace of God, go I.

Sometimes, grace happens in between heartbeats.

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