Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Peace of Wild Things

Much Northern California has been affected by wildfires. For most of this past week the air has been thick with a choking smoke. It's made my wife sick. The fires and smoke bring to mind unsettling worries about global warming.

To find solace and fresher air I've been taking walks along the Sonoma County coast.

Today's walk was with a poet, Jonah Raskin. He talked about wild things.This brought to mind one of my very favorite poems by Wendell Berry, The Peace of Wild Things. This poem expresses how walks outdoors work for me.

My hiking companion, Ted.

by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the middle of 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 for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.


SDE said...

Jonah Raskin was my professor at SSU. I was a Communications major. He is very talented. I hope he is in good health.

Dan Gurney, Mr. Kindergarten said...

Yes, Jonah is a SSU professor as were several others on the walk. He seems to be in good health.