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 (from Collected Poems, North Point Press: 1985.)
As someone who spends a lot of time with children and thinking about how to prepare children for the future, I often wonder what kind of world they will live in when they are my age. While I tend to be a hopeful person, I do sometimes get overwhelmed by the quiet whispers of despair in my heart that tell me that “all is not hopeful.” In the midst of one such moment, I run across this poem that reminds me that all is not mine to know or control. I try to let go of my worries and fears and look for the hope. I settle into that thought and hear my heart whisper, “Grace.”