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 Peace of Wild Things.
Wendell Berry wrote of the indwelling balance, harmony and grandeur of the natural order as being "the grace of the world", and there is grace in every word he writes, a veritable cornucopia of it in his "Jayber Crow", a novel I am rereading at the moment and loving as much as I did in earlier readings.
Another of my favorite authors, Charles deLint, once described the great mystery at the heart of existence simply as "the Grace". No other word can even begin to approach the the wonder of the perfect round world in which we breathe and dwell and wander all our days — the wonder of the good dark earth under our feet, the water, rocks and trees all around us, the moon and stars overhead on clear nights and the clouds on overcast ones — books and music and magic and innumerable cups of tea, the company of good companions along the journey.
Alas, there is no poetry in motion here when it comes to the doddering scribe and photographer who inhabits this little corner of the blogging realm. Hiking boots, runners, sandals, "wellies" and bare feet are more my style than ballet shoes, and laying claim to any grace of movement at all (however brief) would be embroidering things beyond the fabric of belief and well into the realms of the fantastic and fabulous. Nevertheless, there is grace in this old life and all around it, a boundless grace of the wildest and most natural kind, and perhaps the one at the heart of existence of which Wendell Berry, Charles de Lint and others have written so eloquently now and again.
What I seek in my wanderings through spring rainstorms and power failures, across sunlit hills and in quiet moments by the beaver pond, is a whisper, a soupçon, a mere hint of the world's own indwelling grace, a fleeting poignant glimpse into the perfect untroubled heart of things. That grace is always out there somewhere waiting for me, and when I stumble into it, I too rest in the grace of the world, and am free. Oh, that I could express it as Wendell does..