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.
I return to this poem to remind myself to rest in the grace of the world. This past week has been very tumultuous for me. As I watched Dr. Ford be dismissed, demeaned, mocked, and patronized. I was consumed with anger. I finally realized the anger was secondary to the deep grief I was feeling. We have not come very far. The Senate has now voted to confirm Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Take the possible sexual assault away, I am appalled that a man of his temperament and partisanship will sit on the highest court in the land.
I woke this morning and knew I had a choice. I could stay angry and grief-stricken or I could choose to reside in gratitude. As I returned to gratitude, I felt my whole body unwind. I looked around my home and realized how much I had to be grateful for. My friends, my clients who entrust me with their stories, my garden, the birds that grace my feeders, the seven miles of nature trails out my back gate, and so much more. These bring me joy and take me out of the anger and grief. Nature brings me back to my center.
I will not bury my head in the sand. I’ll continue to take action when I feel others are being unjustly treated, but I choose not to linger there. I choose to return to gratitude, joy, and hope.
May you choose to reside in gratitude for your health and well-being.