"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: The Peace of Wild Things

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Peace of Wild Things

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.


  1. Beautiful, both the photo and the poem! Allusions to Psalm 23?

    Take care, Free.

  2. Yes, I think, deliberately so.

    Glad you enjoyed! Happy new year, Ed.

  3. Allow me to compliment the good taste of the author of this blog. Posting a poem by Wendell Berry is a sure sign of superior intellect :) in my very humble opinion.
    Mr. Berry is one of my favorite essayists, poet and author of fiction. His is a religion not of organized church, but of a God creator of all.
    I received for Christmas a book entitled Distant Neighbors: The Selected Letters of Wendell Berry & Gary Snyder (another favorite of mine)
    Think of it...an agrarian author, poet, essayist and teacher from rural Kentucky whose thinking is rooted in Christianity (though not the organized church) strikes up a friendship with a Zen practitioner, a poet and essayist who is one of the prominent members of the Beat generation, and finding significant common ground. It is about as far from fundamentalism as one can get.

  4. Thank you, Unbeliever. I find wisdom and compassion in the works of Berry and Snyder, and am delighted to hear of these letters. Snyder was on my mind this summer hiking in the North Cascades. Happy new year.

  5. This was beautiful. It really struck a chord with me. I've been in turmoil since leaving the church many years ago and recently finding a new one. Although I've forged my own spiritual journey where God is ever present and gracious, I haven't been able to feel at peace with church. I am at rest when I am far from any well-meaning member sharing with me what their zealous interpretation of the truth is. I don't know if this will ever change but perhaps I'm okay with that. Thank you for sharing this piece of art.

    1. Hi Peace!

      A good therapist can help sort out some of those feelings. You left not only a religion but a culture and a way of life. My husband is a foreigner and sometimes he misses his old country and it took some adjustment but now he enjoys his life in America, too. The thing is--he can go back and visit the old country, he can speak the language there, he blends in but now he has some "American" in his personality. The major difference is that people in his home country don't chastise him for leaving "the only right country" even if they have criticism for American foreign policy, etc. and they don't tell him he's going to hell for immigrating to America...that's the major difference. I've come to a place where I am starting to feel okay about letting go, myself, and that took years. I have some of my old church people who I absolutely adore and love to see, some who have told me that they respect me for being true to myself....and some who I think are just looking for something to criticize and it is those people who I give a wide berth. I actually really value my old church I like to sing the songs I sang there and keep many of the lifestyle and traditions because I valued them....but I have left behind the judgment, hypocrisy, and exclusive belief. I often wish I could visit the old church a bit like when my husband goes back to his home country....enjoy it and then go back to my chosen life, but most of the folks at the church don't want it that way, its an all-or-nothing proposition with them. Remember that there are some folks who you can only love from afar where its safe, but you can still love them even if you can't be near them. I dislike the use of the word "toxic" to describe people, when everyone is on their own journey. It's a bit like lactose intolerance--you might like the taste of milk and cheese and ice cream and others can tolerate it but it does not agree with you personally and you suffer the ill effects. Those folks may be your "milk" toxic to you but beneficial for others, as they are also Children of God. And to them--you're their "milk." I wish I could give you a hug.


    2. Punahilkka, excellent observations and analogies. Put me in mind of an SNL skit about gentrification in Brooklyn where one of the characters says "you acting like someone put gluten in your muffin." Yeah, some people are like gluten to celiacs.

  6. Peace, you are as brave as any Arctic explorer as you search for yourself what life means, and similar in that you can learn from those who have gone before, including the sad souls who ate their boots before succumbing to starvation. Thanks for commenting.

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