On Sunday morning, after being blessed with a weekend of hiking and being outdoors with friends, I came across American novelist Wendell Berry’s poem entitled The Peace of Wild Things and was immediately taken by it.
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 its beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
Who do not live 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.
There is much happening in the world around us that can, and does, cause despair, with our constant access to information fueling it. Berry’s reminder of stepping outside so that we are freed of the deluge is wonderful.
Close to home, our Junior School students have a new routine each morning upon arrival: outdoor supervised time until class begins. This adds to their regular morning and lunch recesses. This week, our Grades 6-9 will head out for various periods of time to get outside, play and lead. Finally, six of our students and two staff departed on Saturday for the annual Round Square International Conference in South Africa with an opportunity to visit and stay at the Tuli Game Reserve in Botswana.
As I travel home, feeling a sense of peace and rest after having had my outdoor time, I wish for all of our community, any opportunities possible to rest ‘in the grace of the world.’