The Peace of Wild Things

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Wendell Berry writes in his poem “The Peace of Wild Things”

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives might 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 with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

“The Peace of Wild Things” by Wendell Berry

A poem about the future state of the world seems appropriate right now. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation share Berry’s poem in a recent email, and I appreciated it so much. “Despair for the world grows.” The news keeps telling us bad news, but we don’t have to stay with despair. We can go outside. We can “lie down where the wood drake rests” and enjoy the land where great herons wander.

The world will not end. This pandemic will not last forever. For now, we can “rest in the grace of the world.”

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