I found myself reading Wendell Berry’s poem “The Peace of Wild Things” over and over again this week.
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.
The line that resonated the most was “I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.” We spend an inordinate amount of time worrying over things we can’t control, may never happen or if they do happen, aren’t nearly as bad as we fear.
Given its deep winter here in Vermont, while I go for walks with my dog, I spend more time looking out the window watching the birds as they flit in and around the feeder, or the squirrels chasing one another , making tracks in the snow. The deer are forever coming to check and see if they missed an apple, even if it’s high in the tree. This is a far more peaceful and calming pursuit than watching television, reading a newspaper or trolling the Internet. Definitely recommend it.