Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Peace of Wild Things

There are times when I wake at night and my mind fills with concerns about the issues of the day -- problems my children are facing, struggles weighing heavily on people in the church, or fear of things that could go wrong. It doesn't help matters when I've had a cup of coffee too late in the day.

It was nice to pull away from things around here and have my family together for a few days in Cape Cod last month. It was our first time there but hopefully it won't be our last. The natural beauty and peaceful surroundings made it a special time for all of us. I even found a new appreciation for bird watching. I confess, though, the whale watching was a little more exciting.

One evening before our meal my daughter Bethany read the following from a book of poems she had been reading:

The Peace of Wild Things
by Wendel 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.

I hope you have a place where you can go to escape and, as Jesus said, "observe the birds of the air and the flowers of the field." I find rest from my worries when I remember that the God who cares for them cares even more for the things that bring me anxiety. Maybe that is why I slept a whole lot easier when I was on vacation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

that's an awesome poem Bill! - dave l