Catherine Jackson: EarnestGirl Chronicles


Arranging Grace

A Simple Slow Inhalation

“Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day - like writing a poem, or saying a prayer.”

Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From The Sea


Does your day lack even a moment to go to the bathroom unaccompanied, let alone contemplate where to find a more than a sticky juice glass for a handfull of quickly-wilting ditch flowers?

I wrote Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s advice into the front page of my weekly notebook — the one in which I keep track of our family’s comings and goings, the 6-month checkups, necessary numbers, fleeting inspirations, errand details, daily notes on, for instance, when the dog started throwing up, the running To Dos, the titles of things I would otherwise forget — and at a certain point in the year I realized that the quote was not inspiring me to create a sense of quiet at all. Worse, it was creating a kind of accusatory undercurrent at the edges of my days. It far more aspirational than it was practical.

And then I thought about the word aspire.

Aspire: ORIGIN late Middle English : from French aspirer or Latin aspirare, from ad- ‘to’ + spirare ‘breathe.’

This I can manage. To stop and breathe. To pay attention for a moment to something other than the various tugs in all the daily directions. To meet that moment with a simple slow inhalation of forbearance, mindfulness, gratitude, or just an appreciation of a slanting ray of light, a  pretty pile of fruit, a really good cup of tea, and in so doing, as Anne Morrow Lindbergh is trying to suggest, arrange a moment of grace.*

* Nota bene: Want more grace? Elan ‘Schmutzie’ Morgan’s Grace In Small Things community is a wonderful nook of the internet where you will find small hopeful courageous ordinary bouquets of gratitudes, in words, and recently in photos. If you are inclined to seek a bit of instagrace, embrace the small moments of beauty or inspiration that might cross your daily path by using the #graceinsmallthings hashtag on Instagram. I think Anne would approve.