Peace of Wild Things
When despair grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free. ~ Wendell Berry
Last week feeling overwhelmed by the darkness of political discourse and the horrific images of yet another act of gun violence in our nation, I retreated to the river.
The Ipswich is a gem just 15 minutes from my house. With a few friends we slipped from one world into another. Unplugged via canoe and kayak we moved with the water.
Soon we fell silent as we opened ourselves to the mystery and beauty of nature. Our companions? The whistle of a hawk, the prehistoric screech of the Great Blue Heron and the slap of a beaver tail…letting us know that we were approaching their home.
We paddled slowly allowing the busyness and tension of life to slip away, at least for a time. As the poet writes, ‘we came into the presence of still water, the peace of wild things’. And indeed, for those moments, we rested in the grace of the world and were free.