The Community of Nature
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
We often think of "community" as a gathering of people - a place to be connected deeply in heart and soul and purpose. But sometimes, the greatest community that I find is in nature. And of course, Francis taught us that all of Creation is our brother and sister; That every blade of grass is infused with the glory of God. And sometimes - even more than human companionship, I take to the woods and find that the community of nature heals me in ways I didn't know were possible - and didn't know I needed.
This week, if you are overwhelmed with the despair of the world and wake at night with anxiety, take to the woods, or find a pond, or consider the birds of the air and flowers of the field. There too you will find deep community inviting you - even if only for a moment, to rest in the grace of the world and feel free.
Blessings on your journey.