The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.
Dillard is speaking about God's beauty and grace in the world, and human beings have a tendency not to see them. Sometimes we ignore them. Sometimes we're blinded by our own fears and worries. And sometimes, on good days, when the stars align properly and the car keys aren't lost or the paycheck is larger then anticipated, we notice the goodness that God sends our way.
Over and over this weekend, I have been reminded of the beauty and grace of my daughter. Last night, at the water park, an older gentleman who was a manager there told me that she was beautiful. As she was dancing in her classes today, I was amazed by her poise and ease, how comfortable she is in her own skin. Tonight, at the Kalahari's indoor amusement park, a young male attendant on the ropes obstacle course had the balls to actually flirt with her in front of me. I felt like cutting his safety line and tossing him over the side.
Yes, my daughter has graduated from gawky, awkward tween to beautiful, graceful teenager. I don't know how or when it happened. I still think of her as that little girl calling for me in the middle of the night because she had a bad dream. It's difficult for me to accept that she has secrets. That boys are paying attention to her. That she's growing up, and part of that growing up is being her own person, making her own mistakes, allowing her heart to be broken. I can't protect her from any of that.
Saint Marty turns once more to the 2016 Nobel literature laureate Bob Dylan to end this post, something he wrote about growing up: "May you always be courageous, stand upright and be strong. May you stay--forever young."