Grace Notes
A hopeful newspaper column ~ by Natalie Costanza-Chavez
Getting Through

Sunlight and Rhythms
Ahh, but it is. The sun is rising late for all of us. And into it we muddle, our poor bodies still dragging a cycle behind, coffee not quite helping, our kick gone flat. The autumn equinox has passed and the sun is shining for fewer hours every day. The light is changing patterns across our morning-widows, and our late afternoon windshields.
A Carpet Covered Ladder Out
Wild rabbits inhabit our neighborhood in an abundance not even doctor Doolittle could imagine. My two sons and their friend John “found” one under a bush. John’s Mom calls to tell me this, and share her instruction that they had to let it go in an hour. “I told them they can’t keep it,” she says. We decide to stick together. “By the way, they’re walking over to your house.”
Infertility and Mount Rushmore
Mother’s Day is coming – and the cards, usually pink with a calla lily on them, and lunching or brunching or picnicking, ribbons and packages and bows, telephone calls criss-crossing the country, the onset of full summer sliding ever closer and babies – either new ones, grown ones, missed ones, the ones we once were and the women who raised us, or the ones we ourselves are raising.
Young Girls and Hope
Piled all winter in the dusty corners of sheds and garages, hoses now uncircle across town. They are stretched and pulled from their tight spirals and maneuvered back to the spigots. The water rushes on – they flounce and drip.
The Hitch Before Movement
It is below zero, though the sun is sharp and insistent. The boys drag their sleds like sharp green razors slicing the icy snow behind them as they trudge up the hill in our backyard again and again. Soon it is just one left, and the other is zigzagging toward the house, humped over but smiling, cold as he has ever been. Done.
Toasts
This column may make you cringe. Almost two weeks ago, three young boys, two 20 year olds and a 19 year old, lost their lives in a car wreck on Bingham Hill. The next day the Coloradoan printed a picture of the victims’ friends pouring beer on the ground at the site of the crash; the caption said it was in tribute. At the time, no one had any idea what caused the crash, though it was likely extreme speed.
Stuck in the Wood, No Ocean in Sight
What can you do when someone you love has been emotionally hurt? Deeply hurt? Hurt down through the skin and bone and blood all the way to the core hurt? Altered. Perhaps in the whole shape of a life, a small alteration, but altered nonetheless –
Leaning Into the Dark
In early spring, as the plum trees come into season, somewhere a man has lost his wife to lightning, her stricken hand falling away from the heads of the three little boys she left. Later, he sits in the front room, dressed in black, paying duty to lost love – the watch of grief.
Spinning Vanes
The first time it happened to me was during the days of hairbrushes. Any girl will remember: walking into a bathroom took you past a gaggle of hip-hugger jeans, the wearers all facing the mirror, brushing their long sheets of hair. I stood and brushed and brushed and then watched myself in the mirror as I tilted and fell like a tree limb to the floor.
He Has To Pee
I’m dreaming hospitals. Even when we don’t consciously remember a date, our body sometimes does it for us. Two years ago this week, my eight year old son was asleep in a hospital bed, his lips sugared and straw sore from sipping the plastic cups of Sprite that littered the wheeled cart beside him.