Yesterday, as the weather is cooling down into the 80’s, I went for a six mile hike around the National Mall in search of finding grace. Since I went out at an hour that is uncharacteristic for me, it wasn’t hard to find little pockets of grace that I usually miss. Everything looked new in the early morning sun and I had the whole park virtually to myself! Unheard of! Well, it was partly due to school being in session this week, I think, but still, it was grace to find myself alone with so many beautiful sights.
I marveled at the sun rising and breaking through the morning clouds over the U.S. Capital; at the mirror like surface of the tidal pool before the sun was fully up; at three friends fishing – alone – along the tidal pool in the shadows of the King memorial. I savored the time to be alone in the FDR memorial as the morning sun highlighted the sparkling granite rock; the roses reflected in the polished face of the Vietnam memorial symbolizing someone’s love and remembrance; and the solemn figure of Mr. Lincoln brooding over the war as the morning light washed his face.
I paused at the Korean War Memorial and said a prayer of thanks that my father, who was there when I was born, was one of the ones who returned. I rested beside the newly refurbished reflection pool and just allowed the gentle breeze to cool me. I admired, again, General Grant, who sits atop his horse in front of our capital. I have spent many hours in the last year reading about this amazing man, including his own memoirs, and am always saddened by history’s misrepresentation of his brilliance and uncommon goodness. He reminds me again that no matter what others think I should be doing, I have to do what I know to be right and take the best action I know to take in any given situation.
It was a holy walk, a holy day, and grace was all around. Take a walk and see what graces you might find.