The line my father wrote, and it’s a line that hasn’t left me since, came midway through an email.
We had been writing back and forth about the American tendency, or human tendency, to push forward, forward, forward.
It was a tendency I usually bucked. But still, when I was tired or down-spirited, I could buy right into it and start believing that the only proof of success, progress, or a pulse was acceleration.
Well, my father wrote, life is about movement. But it doesn’t always have to be forward to be valuable.
I’m not sure I know what grace is, other than something that leaves us freer than we were before. And this sentence, for me, was full of grace.
Generosity, too. Because I think it takes a generous vision to value the detours, sidesteps, backfalls as much as the forward charge.
I wrote my father back a thank you. And I have silently thanked him since when I’ve gotten off track, started to get upset about it, then remembered that this movement is as much a part of life as any other. And that there’s wisdom off to the side that won’t be found, can’t be found on the main road.
So may we live lives of grace and generosity. And of movement. In every direction.