Joy … in nature’s gifts

Big Sur, Northern California

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, The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry [recommended]



they're paralyzed on the Atlantic seaboard under
the weight of snow drifts, the detritus of blizzards;
stark bare branches of oak, elm and maple
etch dark veins into an icy-gray cast-over sky

on the West Coast we're breaking out magnolias
and blades of tender young grass are unfurling;
the near-sping temps us to wrap ourselves
in its perfumed and congenial blessing

along the stretch of Big Sur the sea strikes stone
and the air explodes, bright and wet with spume,
the green patinated-brine salts our mouths;
above us cloud turrets mimic white-capped waves

standing here, consumed by this seeming infinity,
our hands and eyes and mind conspire
to imitate nature in the most apt way, using
our sketch pad, pen and colored pencils

a quick wingless flight into that dancing sea and
we surface with visions grasped tight in our fists,
our eyes are blinded by a palette of colors, our
pencils bear witness to the gift of another morning,
another kind of beauty; undulating, animated
and so unlike the silent white majesty of snow

Despite all the rocky news about climate change, deforestation and other environmental tragedies, nature in her many aspects speaks to us of joyful things. What aspects of nature inspire joy in you, inspire your creativity and perhaps even your sense of peace? 


copyright 2013, poem, Jamie Dedes (The Poet by Day and The BeZine), All rights reserved;  Wendell Berry's poem is under his copyright; photograph of Big Sur 2008 courtesy of Diff under CC BY-SA 3.0 license

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