river talk

Peace and place

By SANDY LONG
Posted 9/30/20

The River Reporter has invited readers to join its Monthly Conversation Experience by reflecting on the following prompt: In this time of upheaval, where do you find refuge and renewal? It will come …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in
river talk

Peace and place

Posted

The River Reporter has invited readers to join its Monthly Conversation Experience by reflecting on the following prompt: In this time of upheaval, where do you find refuge and renewal? It will come as no surprise that for me, like many others, the natural world is an endless source of restoration and rejuvenation.

As we struggle to understand our lives impacted by a pandemic, a war-like presidential election characterized by divisive battles and a nation beset by endless acts of violence, there is no limit to the anxiety-provoking assaults to our senses and sensibilities. How, then, can we regain a more peaceful perspective?

As renowned author Wendell Berry explains in his book “In the Presence of Fear: Three Essays for a Changed World,” published by “Orion” magazine, “What leads to peace is not violence, but peaceableness, which is not passivity, but an alert, informed, practiced, an active state of being.”

Peace starts with each of us. It lives and thrives in our actions, choices and thoughts and is rooted within the places where our lives transpire. I offer the following link as my contribution to the River Reporter’s Monthly Conversation Experience—www.bit.ly/rivertalk2040—and in support of my belief that mindful awareness of place promotes peace and a sense of positive engagement.

The Autumnal Equinox transpired on September 22. As we enter the time of year when the light lessens and temperatures drop, we have the opportunity to turn inward and ask ourselves what energy we will offer up, what impact our choices and actions might have in the coming year. Think peace, and practice in place. In that spirit, I share the following poem by Wendell Berry.

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.”

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment