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Location: Midwest, United States

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Peace of Wild Things

One of the most appealing and healing aspects of my new home is that it is semi-rural. I now live in a low-to-middle class, predominantly African-American community; believe me, that is a treat in and of itself. Seriously. Better yet, I live in a rural county. My condo is bordered on three sides by cornfields. The area is ribboned with forested streams. The roads are mostly empty...beckoning. The air smells of earth.

If one is to reconstruct a life from the rubble up, this is a good place to start.

Each day brings unexpected joys from encounters with wild things. Do we not all react with an inner glee and touch of awe whenever we “brush against Nature”? I certainly do. I sit on the patio at dusk and watch a raccoon family amble by. I am filled with grudging admiration for these masked night pirates. The killdeer cry in the darkening sky. A gray heron wings its way majestically toward the far horizon. In these last two weeks, I’ve encountered a coyote, a red-tailed hawk (soaring majestically over its domain), a fox and more whitetail deer than I can count...some posing in “National Geographic-worthy” scenes that momentarily take my breath away.

I had forgotten how much I had loved living here, decades ago. It’s all coming back to me in a rush...

* * *

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.

* * *


Blogger Sunny Delight said...

It seems we both are enjoying the peace that nature herself can bring to the soul. (I'm smiling)

Several months ago, a very special person sent me the poem you have posted here. It now resides on a wall in my office, when life seems to intense, I glance over, embrace the words, and my heart has a few moments of peace.

Taika, Jonas.

Sun Jul 22, 06:00:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Oh, this is a very popular poem. I run into it several times each year, signs that it resonates with many.

Um, Sunny, taika is not the word you want, it connotes peace as in settlement or armistice. The word you seek is ramybe...peace, quiet, serenity.

There you have it folks, another installment of "Lithuanian for non-Lithuanians."

Sun Jul 22, 09:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a lovely poem Jonas. I find that peace as well in nature, something I've lost in the city. When we moved to our present home it was on the edge of the city but the city has grown up around us, cutting us off, choking me it feels.
I'm looking for a new home, just have decided on where. It feels very freeing to think I can live anywhere I want.
Thanks again.

Mon Jul 23, 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger Jonas said...

There truly is a difference between urban and rural environments, Deb. I need both in my life. I didn't realize how much I needed both.

Mon Jul 23, 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger Sunny Delight said...

I stand corrected, thank you.

ramybe, jonas. (another smile)

Mon Jul 23, 07:49:00 PM  
Blogger anna said...

There are times I wish we would move out of the city and surround ourselves with nature. Then there are other times I think I could never give up all that the city has to offer. I feel torn.

Mon Jul 23, 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

It's all a matter of finding that balance, isn't it, Anna?

Tue Jul 24, 07:43:00 AM  

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