Nature and poetry are two things that soothe my soul in troubled moments (along with chatting with friends, long walks, meditation, music, gin & tonic at the end of the day, and videos of goats being their hilarious goat selves).
Eric shared this poem with me more than 20 years ago, and it remains one of my favorites. It seems especially appropriate right now. Stay well, dear ones.
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.
Lovely, really lovely Laurel (and dear Eric). Thank you.
Stay healthy, dear friends. I’m glad you’re in a good place to ride this out.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful poem . We love Apalachicola and surrounding area. We can’t wait to get back there again. Stay safe and healthy.
Thank you, Ilse. We love Apalachicola, too, and feel fortunate that we’re able to stay here indefinitely. It would be fun to meet up here under better circumstances! Stay well!
Very nice Laurel! Best of health to you and Eric. We’re working our way back to WA where we’ll hunker down. We’re currently on a rolling self-imposed quarantine for two weeks… Our motto: clean hands, disinfect, keep away, stay healthy.
Your motto sounds like ours! We had to grocery shop today and I just spent an hour sanitizing everything and washing my hands about 50 times. Safe travels back to Washington!
So beautiful, Laurel. How fortunate we are to be hunkered down in Florida..Sending virtual hugs across the Sunshine State!
Sending hugs to you two, as well! We feel very fortunate to be here, although I must admit I’ll be sad if we have to forgo our summer plans for visiting your beautiful home state of Michigan. Not to mention that I’ll be HOT.
Gorgeous and timely. Even for those of us who are accustomed to spending a lot of time at home with our family and separated from community, these are unsettling times. Gratitude and humor may be two of our best strategies for getting through all this…
So true, Shannon. Everything about this is unsettling, and it’s especially distressing if I start to wonder how long it will go on. I can’t imagine having to stay far away from friends and family indefinitely. If there’s anything that has ever called on me to just breathe and be in the moment, this is it. And sometimes, it helps to escape through humor. :-)
Such a wonderful poem. Reposting on my blog and Facebook for others to enjoy. Stay well, dear friend.
I’m glad the poem is meaningful to you, Les. It’s been one of my favorites since the first time Eric shared it with me, and always brings me peace. Take good care!
“Words to live by” was never a more apt statement. Thank you to Eric for sharing this with you so that you could share it with us. That’s love on all levels <3
I’m reading this poem every morning now, Joodie. It’s sinking deep into my consciousness and carrying me through the day. Truly, words to live by. ox
One of my favorites, even more so now.
This poem really touched me. I’ve shared it on IG, and immediately received thanks and hearts.
Thank you for sharing the perfect poem for now.
I’m so glad you found this poem meaningful, Joan. And I’m glad that you shared it with others who also found it helpful in these challenging times. We’re all in this together!
Beautiful poem and perfect for the situation we all find ourselves in. And I sure hope your readers heed your advice on the goat videos… Laughter is the best medicine, after all. :)
Stay well, friends.
Laughter IS the best medicine, and it’s great for boosting our immunity! You’ve sent me some great videos…including some starring goats, of course. Here’s an idea…how about writing a blog post providing a curated list of the best stuff you find? It would make life so much better right now! :-)
The days are getting longer and the plants are starting to come up. Daffodils, tulips, even peonies. Most of the trees are still bare. We get out for a walk most days, one of the few options left with the Governor asking for self quarantine. Still too early to say whether there will be a trip to Lopez but we are hopeful. Stay well and safe this summer. And thank you for The Peace of Wild Things! – Tom & Georgina
So sweet, to think of spring coming to Oregon! I’m glad you’re getting out and enjoying what you can, especially in these troubling times. Let’s hope that by summer things will return to some semblance of normal and that you’ll be making your annual pilgrimage to beautiful Lopez. Hugs to you both, stay healthy!
Thanks for sharing. It’s perfect. Be safe, be well, stay hopeful.
I like that, Sue. Not only wishes to be safe and stay well, but to stay hopeful. We must. OX
So beautiful and much needed at this time. Thanks for sharing with us all. Take care of yourselves.
Pam, I trust that you and John are safe and perhaps even enjoying some quarantine time with good friends, including the furry one? :-) You guys all take care and stay away from everyone else.
A perfect read for these times. I know I always find solace in nature. Keep well you two!
Lisa, we feel so fortunate to be surrounded by nature and far away from cities right now. I hope you and Hans and Rosie are enjoying being at home, and that you’re enjoying the beginnings of spring and garden time!
So glad you have a place to hunker down and wait out this challenging time. Nature and humor are my go to’s during stressful times. Stay safe and healthy and hopefully this passes quickly. Now I’m off to take a stroll and then it’ll be time to watch goat videos!
I hope this passes quickly, too, Ingrid. Maybe even quickly enough that we’ll be able to meet up in Wisconsin/Michigan this summer? Meanwhile, enjoy spring in Phoenix and the beautiful hiking there!
Hello … and thank you for these wonderful words. I hope you don’t mind that I used it in today’s FindPenguins footprint … my replacement platform for simpler posts in lieu of maintaining the blog.
Wishing you and Eric well during these challenging times. Not easy especially when you still have “family stuff” to deal with. We just returned from taking mom back to her home in Turkey and I can tell you it was such a relief to get her back safe and sound.
Hi Erin, I’m delighted you were inspired to use the poem in your post, which I will go visit now. :-) Thank you so much for your good wishes…contending with a pandemic on top of the two months of clearing out my folks’ house has been challenging, for sure. And it makes me sad that we’re not able to visit my folks. I’m glad you got your mom settled safely back in Turkey. Be well!
Absolutely perfect Laurel! Mary and Wendell have been my mainstay inspirations for decades. Sue Malone published this on facebook with a fabulous picture of a great blue that either you or Eric took. We’ll have to keep in touch with regard to the summer heat in our respective southern forced quarantine spots. Last summer it was hotter in Virginia than in Florida and I SWORE I’d never ever spend another summer here. Goes to show how much control I have over my life. Stay hopeful is particularly difficult if you watch the morning briefings. And I know he’s not kidding!
Oh, Sherry…summer in Florida was most definitely not in our plan. And I know Virginia was not in yours. :-( At the same time, we’re very grateful to have a place to be right now. And I’m glad that you’re in a safe place, too. We’re still reeling from the suddenness of all of this.
I’m trying to wean myself from the vortex of reading too much about the pandemic. It’s not easy, but I know I need to stop it, simply for my sanity.
I hope all is well on Lopez, Gretchen. Take good care!
Oh, I needed this right now. I have turned to poetry more and more lately to help buoy me. I’d forgotten all about Wendell Barry. Thank you so much for sharing this.
Heather, I’m glad to hear from you, and I’m glad this poem brings you comfort in these troubled times. There are a few poems that always buoy my spirits, and this is one of them. Be well.
Beautiful poem Laurel. Glad to hear that you and Eric are staying put in Apalachicola. The unknowns of this terrible virus are reason enough to be prudent. Let’s hope that enough follow the advice of the experts so that we can end this nightmare sooner rather than later. Be safe!
Thank you, LuAnn…I’m so happy to hear from you. I hope all is well with you and Terry. Stay well, dear friends.