Wednesday, April 18, 2007

When the way is not a way but a place

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

On Monday night a few of us went out canoeing or paddling as my more experienced friends call it. We did about 6 miles around some of the islands of Strnagford Lough. It was incredibly peaceful , almost outside of time. The sunsetting sky was sublime - pinks and purples poking through the grey clouds gradually darkening and Venus rising in the night sky joined by a few stards as we finished our paddle. We felt at peace and discussed the journey of life we were all on and how what we understand of faith is not sermons or singing but rather journeying with a group of people through the sacred moment. It was a beautiful evening and reminded me of an old Wendell berry Poem - the title of todays post is also I think from a berry poem and it perfectly summed up my mood. So try it - get out to the wild places , rest in the Grace of the world and be free.


mister tumnus said...

ok this might be my first (or maybe second) moment of appreciation for wendell berry. 'day-blind stars' is a very nice expression.

there is something about canoeing that can make even a trip down the bann with a bunch of teenagers a relaxing place to be. it's a bit magical to be that close to flowing water and not wet. think i might like to do that again sometime.

good postin' sir.

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

ah, good father, we wait and hope and when they arrive they never disappoint - beautiful and profound - treasure the moments when we do find the shalom of life....

The Father said...

ah sweet lulu thanks for dropping by - that place in the photo is close to my favourite place in the whole world. Thanks for dropping that thought into your blog.... good ansel adams lookalike

and Mr T it is a fantastic line which in my passing I hadnt noticed but you should check out some more wendell - surprised you havent before as the quiche was a big evangelist for him


mister tumnus said...

em, it's not that i haven't come across sir wendell of berry before! i think the evangelism might have put me off somewhat in the past!! i had a discussion with joel about this a while ago. also involved the mighty jagrafess (i think)from doctor who. it all made sense at the time.

Awareness said...

As soon as I started reading the poem, I pictured a place where I have gone canoeing before.....and then was pleasantly surprised to read of your own paddle.

Though I don't often get a chance to canoe, just thinking about it connects me to God. When I have a chance to paddle, be it solo or with another, a sense of calm envelopes me in a way I have rarely experienced during other pursuits.

I hope you have a chance to paddle out again.......... it truly is magical.