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
of grief. I come into the presence of still
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
I love this poem by Wendell Berry.
“I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief”
You may have noticed I love to photograph nature. This morning I was up at 5am to photograph the sun-rise. The sky was a palette of pale pinks, smokey greys and blue reflecting in the silky smooth water of the estuary.
The black swans slept with their heads under their wings, resting in serenity while the sea gulls languidly strolled the waters edge searching for tasty morsels for breakfast. A gentle breeze teased the leaves in the paper barks and sang a melody in the pines.
I cycled along the path until I came to a favourite place – a row of Bottlebrush shrubs where the New Holland Honeyeaters play and feast on the nectar, filling the air with their joyful song as they swoop and dart among the bushes, pausing for a moment to lick the sweetness off the flowers (yes, apparently they have a “brush-tipped tongue” with which they take up nectar from the flowers).
I watch in delight their simple joy of being alive.
We have many privileges living in this country, but we live in a culture that has forgotten how to Be.
Has lost the joy of simply being alive,
in the moment, truly present.
Have forgotten how to be silent.
To come into the peace of wild things.
When Ian was alive, we lived on a farm, and many times I drove home from work wondering if he would be alive when I walked into the house. I would hop out of the car to open the gate, and often the cows were in the paddock near the drive and I would stop and take a breath, breathing in their peace, their being-ness, their calm acceptance of life and death. Their surrendered-ness to what Is, and I would be comforted, understanding that as I too surrendered and let go of my ideas about what should be, and what should happen, I could share their peace.
It took a while, but I got there eventually.
We fight and struggle, resist and negotiate, trying to make Life fit into our will. Our little, ignorant, ridiculously defiant will. It would be amusing if it didn’t cause us so much pain.
“Life is the dancer and we are the dance”. Echkhart Tolle
Come into the peace of wild things, and learn how to surrender joyfully into life.
Be Still, and know that I am God.