I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.

Anne Lamott
This token is a reminder that every day is a gift and to never take it for granted.

Earlier this week, Two Bear Air Rescue in Kalispell, MT sent me a letter.

On July 8th, 2021, Two Bear responded to a call for help. This call ended with our team hoisting you out of your situation. Because of your special ride on our hoist, I have enclosed a token as a reminder that EVERY day is a gift and to never take it for granted.

Many people have never heard of Two Bear Rescue until we arrive on-scene to help them. There are no charges for our service because our number one goal is saving a life. Whitefish philanthropist Michael Goguen supports all costs of this program and believes that if we saved only one life then the costs would be worth it. 

The gold medal is adorned with the Two Bear’s logo and “Goguen’s Heroes” written above. Below is a phrase that makes me catch my breath. “By Grace,” it reads. “You are saved.”

grace noun 
1. elegance and refinement
2. goodwill and unmerited favor
3. a state of divine sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance
4. mercy

The writer John Updike said “Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.” And Anne Lamott writes, “I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.”

Yesterday, I took a stress echocardiogram which revealed a strong and healthy heart and, even when the technicians pushed me past my target heart rate, never triggered the debilitating tachycardia of the trail. Good news, even though I want to get whatever happened out there fixed before I head out again. There’s still more monitoring and appointments, so something might turn up. In the meantime I bike and hike and get stronger every day in body and soul.

But I find it a miracle that I was plucked out of danger by the grace of someone else’s kindness and generosity, by their willingness to share in their good fortune by helping someone in need. And I’m changed by it – just as I’m changed by the trail and the many gifts I’ve received.

But I’m also changed by having to accept the circumstance I’m in – and to do so with a kind of, well, grace, to be a less of a whiner and more of a problem solver, to be less of a catastrophist and more of a believer in abundance, and to be just as curious and full of gratitude off trail as on.

And it’s in that space, I know I’ll tap into my bliss again.

Blissful’s normal stress echocardiogram with no evidence of stress-induced ischemia and a normal left ventricular function and wall motion at rest and post-stress.


  1. Karen Neal

    Another “life lesson”. Understanding grace. Not the new experience you expected on this adventure, but an education, nonetheless! I’m missing your adventurous blogs . . . .but know they will start up again ASAP!

    • adventures of the mind – though I did get my feet out there this past weekend and closer to a real “adventure!” (hot and humid on the North Shore just now)

  2. Joyce Morehouse

    What great news. And what a profound and thoughtful response to your rescue and your current good news. It is truly an occasion of grace.

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