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August 20, 2009

Lessons of Grace

favor or good will.
a. the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God.
b. the influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them.
c. a virtue or excellence of divine origin: the Christian graces.
d. Also called state of grace. the condition of being in God's favor or one of the elect.
9. moral strength: the grace to perform a duty.

I've been with "my lady" for two weeks now, sleeping in her house overnight, Monday- Thursday, preparing her breakfast and then leaving by 8:30 am at which point I drive 5 minutes around the corner to my own cottage, shower, check e-mail and get to work by 10:00 am.

I don't know if perhaps something about being around her reminds me of the time I spent looking after my own mother (albeit in a very superficial way) but there's something about the absoluteness of her routine that in a very inexplicable way makes me happy. I catch myself smiling in the morning.

There's something to be said for "serving" somebody especially when you are one of the rare females on the planet who hasn't had to do much of that your entire life and even now it's completely a choice.

You could set your watch by her routines. And, when I'm with her from 9:00 pm when she like clockwork gets ready for bed to the time my alarm goes off at 7:00 am, the end and the beginning of the day are a set of constants. I'm ever hopeful that when I get old I won't be quite as committed to sameness but even as I write that I wonder if as we age if we aren't just wired to become extreme creatures of habit.

Every morning I make her hot water and lemon. I knock on her door precisely at 7:30 am, greet her with a good morning, open her drapes and the golden-nes of the morning and the golden garden field that expands from her yard South shines the light in. I put her hot lemon drink beside her on the bed. I do some other bathroom duties for her. I don't talk too much because I think she really likes to be alone with her thoughts as I do in the morning.

I close the door. I go into the kitchen and make an incredibly healthy shake of blueberries, flax, hemp hearts, yogurt, bananas, sesame seed, pumpkin seed and soy milk. I get the coffee on. I put her cereal into her bowl. I get out the marmalade and the spelt bread. I arrange her chair. When she hears the shake being blendered, that's her signal to come to the table.

Sometimes I pretend to myself that in a movie something along the lines of Driving Miss Daisy or a Jane Austen novel and the whole thing still seems a bit surreal.

I asked her the other day how she managed to maintain a 30 year friendship? Her answer? You can't be judgemental.

I like the little sayings she has on her fridge. "There is no point in focusing on how things ought to be. Focus on that which is."

We both agreed this morning that it's not a coincidence, our coming together for mutually beneficial purposes. For her a safety net to have someone there at night. For me? Rent-free living. But then, those are just the surface reasons don't you think?

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