Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Grace of the World

One of my favorite Wendell Berry poems, "The Peace of Wild Things," follows.

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.

Many of us find our peace in places of natural and wild beauty. Summer in particular is a season to spend some time in wild places through a hike, a boat trip or kayaking, cycling or running. Even sitting on a beach and looking out into the ocean, a pond or a lake can feed our souls.

The key is to find those places where you can "rest in the grace of the world" as Berry puts it. Such places abound if we would open our eyes to the beauty around us and within us.

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