Wendell Berry is one of my favourite poems. Today, I began reading Alan Watts’ The Wisdom of Insecurity, which was published in 1951. It could just have easily been published today and for today’s world. In the poem, Berry suggests nature is a place where we can find some solace. Here, we can live in the moment and find peace. Watts makes a similar case for living in the moment. It is there we fcan discover wisdom and insights into the world.
Wendell Berry, as do many other poets, understand nature as a place to dwell and be. This does not mean we have to leave in the country. There is beauty that surrounds us in large cities. Sometimes, we take that beauty for granted, but it is in the ordinary we discover the extraordinary.
“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.”
― Wendell Berry, The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry