Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"Chapter 2" Follow-up: 'The peace of wild things'

I knew I was forgetting something in my post yesterday but could not find it in the 'clutter' of my mind. However, there it was this morning, right on my desk where I usually keep my laptop. I should add that like avoiding the news, etc, etc, that I mentioned in my post yesterday, I have been finding it harder and harder to even go into my office.

I want to share a poem by Wendell Berry, a farmer-author-poet-activist from Kentucky. I know I wrote about him in an earlier blog post this year. Hmmm, I wonder if I even included this same poem in that blog (nope, just checked). Interestingly, I know I have read this poem before in one of his many collections but was surprised to find it again in one of my two books of food blessings. It does not clearly seem to fit into this book of mealtime graces (I will have to think about it from a different perspective), but it does show me that my feelings are not new or unique, that other people deeply feel this concurrent sense of grace and worry. Wendell Berry expresses it more beautifully and succinctly than I have (the gift of our poets).

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

I know I have quoted from or written about the book A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold in past blog entries.  The opening lines in the foreword to this book are: 'There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot.' I am one who cannot. I am jumping ahead of myself here to 'Chapter 4' ('Back Again',still unwritten, coming after still unwritten Chapter 3 'Wham-Bam!'), but I can see I am in the best place for me, and I need to start taking my lessons for slowing down (Chapter 1) and finding peace (Chapter 2) from the wild things that are all around me.  

Still continuing............. :-)

"Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row"

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

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