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The Community of Nature


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.

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