The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,
the world, and those who live in it
On Wednesday, the Boston and Northern New England Presbyteries hosted a webinar on using COVID metrics to determine re-gathering. To close, one of the hosts used a poem as a prayer in commemoration of Earth Day.
To celebrate Earth Day, I want to share that poem, the work of one of my favorite poets (OK, he’s my favorite poet…because I really don’t know of many others…), Wendell Berry. Berry is a farmer, poet, novelist, essayist, and all-around cool dude. I learned of his work in seminary, after attending a lecture by Dr. Ellen Davis. Her book, Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible, which greatly impacted me, puts the the Hebrew Bible in conversation with Berry’s writings.
The poem is called, “The Peace of Wild Things.” I recommend you listen to Wendell Berry read it here: https://onbeing.org/poetry/the-peace-of-wild-things/
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.
Happy Earth Day.