Thursday, April 5, 2012
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.
A friend, Terry Hershey, posted this on his blog and ended it with "Doing my best to find rainbows in raindrops." I understand. I get it. I am sitting smack dab in the middle of doing my best to find rainbows.
For decades I have followed Ralph Waldo Emerson when he wrote, "When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object." That I feel I have done. Now it is time to move on, on to a new objective, onto something else that needs my energy and my enthusiasm, my talent, and my passion.
But for now I pause. I now take time for me. Not only are the birds busily building their nests and singing in the garden, waiting patiently, and some not so patiently, for the dogs to scurry back into the house so they may flutter in their bird bath in peace. They dip and dive and shake and then leave refreshed and go on about their spring business.
I wait for the wood ducks to reappear, as they do each spring around Easter. I always rejoice in their return, as they announce their arrival from my neighbors rooftop. I wonder where they are, if they will find their way back. Then remember that traveling the road to success, it is often quite fun to get lost along the way.
And then the page turns, and I leave the moments of pause to read letters from warriors on the brink of suicide. I feel their enormous pain and pleas for help and screams for release from the hell of PTSD. I don't have the answers, but I can listen. Most of them find some relief as they write down their pain in emails or on paper, for it is safe and they feel there will be no judgement. I know that inside each of them is something splendid just waiting to be uncovered. I try to tell them that there is also something inside of them that is superior to circumstance. Some hear me, some want to, but most have just experienced the blessed gift of someone who listened and actually heard. That alone is my gift to them. How many people actually take the time to hear, to listen, and to actually care. This is my gift to the world. This is the gift that I have to offer. I wish I could give them the solace that comes from reading the Wendell Berry poem above and lead them by the hand to where they can lie down with the wood drake, rest and be free.
Happy Easter everyone!
"Obstacles cannot crush me.
Every obstacle yields to stern resolve.
He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind."
~Leonardo Da Vinci