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The headline captured my attention as I scrolled through countless Facebook posts about life today:

REST FOR A MOMENT IN A POEM’S PEACE

 I clicked through Parker Palmer’s page to a column he had written for “The Poetry Radio Project,” part of the On Being series with Krista Tippet.  Here’s what he says:

“As various forms of human-made madness continue to swirl around us – occasionally catching us up in the swirl – it’s important to be intentional about seeking sources of inner peace.  Only when we are at peace inwardly can we bring some measure of peace to a violent world.”

Palmer then offers a poem for nourishment, comfort, and peace.  Here it is:

“The Peace of Wild Things”

By Wendell Berry

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

For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

We urban dwellers may not easily see drakes and herons any time we need to ‘come into the peace of wild things’.  But when life seeks respite, we can rest in the calm and comfort of this poem or others where we find meaningful images.  Even our time on Facebook or other news sources can offer a moment’s rest where we might discover a deeper truth that offers solace or insight for our life.  I invite you to rest for a moment along the path of your daily life.  May you know Peace.


Carol Schickel, LCPC, is a therapist in the Spiritual Life Center at Holy Trinity.