March 24, 2020

A yellow flower

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Another thing that is going in my “Alleluia” basket is the poem “The Peace of Wild Things,” by Wendell Berry, which I rediscovered in an email sent by Bill Dalke. Berry’s words are so fitting for this particular moment in time. His response to despair for the world is to “come into the peace of wild things.” I’ve noticed that in most of the conversations I’ve had with people (virtual and not in person) the one thing that is mentioned over and over again is the peace found in nature and observable all around us.

There is much we can’t control right now, and that can feel pretty powerless. But nothing can prevent us from looking out a window, or sitting on the porch, or going for a stroll and opening our senses, and our hearts to the life all around us. We are sheltering down, but life, new life is just outside our doors. Let the Creator God speak of all that is good as you “come into the peace of wild things.”

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 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 with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Rest in the grace of the world!


*You can hear Berry reading this poem on one of my favorite podcasts, OnBeing.  Here is the link:

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