There’s been such crushing news this week in our country with the latest rounds of shootings, day after day, city after city. This, against the backdrop of so much violence around the world that we are too numb to even talk about it to one another. Sometimes it feels like we are treading water, kicking wildly under the surface, as we try to stay upright to keep ourselves from sinking into the depths of darkness.
We’ve been distracted, buoyed actually, by having my niece and her family visit us for a few days. Despite the cool and windy weather, the kids bobbed on the water while we adults sat bundled up in jackets on the dock. Wrapped in wool blankets, the girls napped in the hammock. We talked story around a campfire. Life, for us, continued merrily along in the cocoon of family and safety. We shelter in place.
The heavy rains, mountain snows, and cold temperatures are still on their way. As my niece returned home to 100 degree temperatures in Denver, we are beginning to wonder if Summer will ever come this year. Yet, in our spectacularly privileged life, peace is right outside my door.
The Peace of Wild Things
BY WENDELL BERRY
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.