The Peace of Wild Things, by Wendell Berry

I’ve had this poem for a few weeks now, and I’ve been rereading it periodically. I knew I wanted to share it here the moment I read it.  It reminds me of another great quote I once read (can’t remember where, sorry), “Any animal can swim.  It is only man who thinks, and panics, and drowns.”  (That’s not 100% true, as not all animals can swim, but I like the sentiment.)


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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