The Peace of Wild Things

In this week of stress and uncertainty, my morning ritual has been essential. Leaving the house, weaving down familiar trails under the vast dawn sky, this poem by Wendell Berry has surfaced day after day.

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.

There are several wonderful readings of the poem out there, in Berry’s rich and soothing voice, including this one with On Being.

Breathe deeply, friends. (And wash your hands.)