The Peace of Wild Things

bluebell wood 3

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’m not sure the small woodland around the corner from my house is the kind of wilderness described in this beautiful poem, but when I take a walk through it, and hear the April birdsong, I feel as though I briefly escape the troubles of the world and ‘come into the peace of wild things’.

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