Peace of Wild Things

Los Padres National Forest     Photo Credit: S Wave The sharing of this poem is dedicated to my grandmother, Maxine, who turns 93 today. This is one of her favorite poems an it always reminds me of how she has demonstrated to me how to “rest in the grace of the world.” She does this not only with words, but with her own actions. I’ve watched and learned much from her. The accompanying pictures are of her own little wild thing, her first great-grandchild, Charlotte. I’ve also included places I’ve recently traveled in California that I think she would love to see.

The Peace of Wild Things BY WENDELL BERRY

Topanga Dance 1  Photo Credit: S Wave

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 drakeTopanga Dance 2 Photo Credit: S Wave

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.

Happy Birthday, Grandmother. I love you in the day and night. I love you in the happy and sad. I love you in the near or far. I love you in the nows, thens, and to comes. xoxo

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