Kathy and me on the beach before the dancing began

Grace: the divine influence operating in individuals for their regeneration and sanctification.

Being in Mexico is always magical. I love the colors, the warm temperatures, the wide sugary beach, the turquoise water, and especially the people we meet at Maroma, the resort we visit. We just returned from a perfect week there, and wow, did I ever need it! 

Cake from Cincinnati dressed as a fox for Halloween

The world is on fire. I really don’t need to recap what’s going on, because if you are awake you know what I am talking about. The war in Ukraine grinds on, and the lunatic Putin is threatening  to make the situation worse. People are fleeing Russia because he is grabbing men and forcing them to the front lines without any training. Iran and Iraq are back in the (bad) news. The world economic picture is grim. American politics are surreal. And Global Warming has escalated fires, floods, and extreme weather everywhere. Ian is leaving a trail of destruction this week and is headed our way. People are talking about major world food and water shortages. And affordable housing is unavailable.

Pottery from Holland by Noot and Swart

But when I arrived in Mexico, I put down the weight of the world. I felt light and happy. I reunited with old friends Diane and Chuck, and Reuben and Kathy, and I focused on being in the moment. I dropped my concerns over my children and their recent struggles for the week, and I felt myself unfurl. My stomach unclenched and my  fingers stopped their constant fidgeting. 

New painting by Lucy Miller

The week was wonderful. There were several cookouts and dances on the beach, and everywhere was sunlight, music, and the smell of food grilling. The resort held a Brazilian-themed beach party on one of our last days there. We were sipping icy Malibu and Pineapple Juice, when out of nowhere we heard drummers, and soon acrobats, jesters, and dancers appeared wearing feather head-pieces and scanty costumes. They wiggled their hips and gestured for those of us relaxing under umbrellas on the beach to get up and dance with them. A few of us brave souls got up and hopped around in a conga line trying to keep up with the drummers, but pretty soon we pooped out. Staff brought around frozen fruit bars and Ron told me I didn’t look too stupid out there as I recuperated with my popsicle.

Dolly and Tina cloth by Kayleen Whiskey

The sugar gave me a second wind, and even though no other tourists were dancing with the professionals, I felt moved to join them again. I jumped up and joined their group trying to copy their moves, inspired by my Zumba class at the Y in Black Mountain. Before I knew it, I felt completely joyful and free, dancing however I was moved to. I forgot about all the people on the beach and danced as if I were alone. I never understood before what people mean when they said they have experienced Grace. But while I was on the beach in Mexico dancing with the beautiful dancers, I let go completely. I felt at peace and at one with everyone and everything. I finally knew the meaning of Grace.