Whole Living Gal

The Peace of Wild Things

There is a new park by our house that hosts nature trails through the woods. Twice now we have strapped our children on our backs in packs and ventured into this space. There is a peace that comes with being in the woods, and a curiosity renewed by nature. I love showing acorns and ferns and sticks to our toddler – her own excitement about the newness of the space transposes to my own heart.

In this park, there is a rock with a plaque enscribed with a Wendell Berry poem. We read the poem out loud twice yesterday- once on our way into the park, and once on our way out. It reminds me to keep trekking out into nature – to watch the seasons change by being in them; to look up into the trees and find space where I can’t hear a car, but I can hear the trickle of the water down a path.

The Peace of Wild Things

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


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  1. * brooke says:

    that’s real good.
    especially for city-dwellers, these brief forays into more wild areas seem to be vital medicine. i don’t do it nearly often enough, but every time that i do, i’m so glad, and i say to myself, “i should do this more often.”

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 6 months ago
  2. * Pat says:

    Well said! reading your insights and the poem was a lovely quiet ending to a day of working in the woods. Spent much of the day at Jones Gap Park w/Sierra Club folks working on the Palmetto Trail. What a peaceful place, so nice to be with others who love and respect the natural wonders of this area. Wish Z had been with us…to hear her laughter and delight!

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 6 months ago
    • * heatherehammond says:

      Thanks for the comment, Pat! I wish we could have been there tonight, too – Zora would have loved it! Although, she only liked hiking and picking things up as long as she didn’t get dirty. She refused to touch any acorns or sticks that had dirt on them! Too funny.

      | Reply Posted 7 years, 6 months ago

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