Grace Notes
A hopeful newspaper column ~ by Natalie Costanza-Chavez
Go Easy

Head Injury
When my son Lucas’ legs were kicked out from under him, he was running very fast. His body catapulted forward in an odd-duck sort of wingless flight. The airborne status was broken when his skull hit the drought-hard soccer field. They gave the child who tripped him a “card” – the sign of a bad foul and the game continued. Lucas sat out for a minute and then continued to play, failing to mention to his coach that the white ball and the green grass had turned, in his fuzzy head, to the color red.
Cadence
I can still picture Friday night dinner in my neighbor’s kitchen. We sat at the Formica table, in orange Naugahyde chairs, our rear ends damp through our flowered shorts from running for hours in the sprinklers. “Eating over,” we called it and did it all the time – she at my house, and I at hers.
Haul-Out
The Santa Cruz wharf, like a black line drawn perpendicular to the beach, hangs 22 feet above high tide. 4,500 pilings support the length of it. Stagnaro Brothers fish market is perched at the end, beside that, Andy’s Bait and Tackle, and beside that The Dolphin Restaurant.
Slow Fever, Deep Blizzard
As you read this, most likely the sun is out and April is a calendar photo of blue flax and mountains. But, as I write it, the possible final snow of the season is falling, blazing actually – like a horse running fast – windy and white and whipping past each window.
Door to Door God Makes Me Uncomfortable
I’ve been thinking about Girl Scout cookies (yes – it’s that time again), doorbells and graceful green bugs. The girl scouts and the doorbells explain each other – the bugs are a glint of a memory from last August day when a 9-year-old boy in a small suit, and an elderly gentleman in a larger suit, rang my doorbell.
Turtles and Light
Somewhere, something poetic must be happening. Monks pulling a tight cord tied to brown old bells ringing over a hilltop dotted with sheep and eucalyptus trees, each leaf barely green and red-veined and turning in prayer toward the day-rise.