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.
On September 6, 2014, Lynn Robinson read this poem, “The Peace of Wild Things,” at a family gathering to celebrate the life of Ivan Robinson, who died on August 4, 2014. On this Thanksgiving day, Ivan will be missed, but we will all remember the meaningful life he led.
Have a happy Thanksgiving.
Attribution: “The Peace of Wild Things” from The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry. Copyright © 1998.