Take comfort in the peace of wild things

March 18, 2011

It’s a crazy world with lots to fear, but it’s probably no crazier and more fearsome than it was when we were growing up.
Even though we mythologize childhood in the 1950s and 1960s, it wasn’t without its stresses.

Remember “duck and cover?” and how we thought the Communists were just waiting for a chance to drop “the bomb?” Remember the snarling dogs set on men and women in the South who just wanted human equality? Remember the fears that our loved ones would be killed in a war no one wanted? How about Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Concentration camps?

Yes, it’s always been a crazy world and we’ve always had to work to find peace of mind. It’s easy to mythologize the 1950s and 60s because we were still children back then. What did we really know about life? How could we possibly understand our parents’ fears that the world would self-destruct?

As adults, though, world tensions can get to be too much. Anxiety is everywhere. It’s hard to find equilibrium when there’s so much that’s out of our control.

The author Oriah Mountain Dreamer* recently posted this comforting poem on Facebook.

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. — Wendell Berry

♥ Oriah Mountain Dreamer went on to share this: I rein in the mind’s worries, speculation…Gently I catch myself & say — Stay here. Do what you can. Breathe. Pray. Feel the earth. Feel heart-self & body. Taste the food. Feel the sun. Love life, others, yourself, the world. This is enough.
“Rest in the grace of the world.” A beautiful meditation that I’ll do daily and good advice for our troubled times.


4 comments on “Take comfort in the peace of wild things
  1. Before I became so distracted by my daily life, I used to be able to feel the life in the forest and commune with the trees. I can no longer feel it and consider it a huge loss.

  2. Janice P. says:

    The Power is in the Now, not the past or the future. When you focus on your immediate surroundings and appreciate their beauty, it’s impossible to worry about the past or future.

  3. AmyEmilia says:

    I came here from your post on Bleeding Espresso… thank you for this meditation and poem.

  4. Thanks, all. Welcome, AmyEmilia! It’s a beautiful meditation (and poem), no? Come back and visit any time!

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