Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Where the wild ducks are

  Whether we look far away or close at hand – from France to the people of our hearts, we long for peace. We long for hope.

For a few days of solitude, I’ve come away to a quiet place. Perhaps I will find headspace to write again.

I’ve watched the wild ducks gather at the bottom of the lawn. In a puddle spread before the shore a family of mallards nibble and nibble on something under the water. Roots? Chickweed? They ruffle their tails and preen their breasts, comfortably relaxing into the soggy grass as if into a hot spa. A female scolds a male and he sprints from her clacking beak. After the ducks depart a pair of crows splash into the puddle and then sip their bathwater. A black squirrel runs up and down the oak with mouthfuls of leaves. I see she is building a winter nest as she shapes them into a ragged clump. There is healing in these observations. I waken to more than despair and “forethought of grief.” I do. I am almost happy.

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. – Wendell Berry

Mallard Family eating in the rain.

1 comment:

liz@carpeseason said...

This poem. Thank you for sharing.
I want it printed and hung next to my bed, where I can see it each morning.