Friday, June 01, 2007

Mama Says Om - Grace

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 grace is present in every perfect word he writes. One of my favorite authors, Charles de Lint, once described the great mystery at the heart of existence as simply "the Grace". No other word can ever begin to delineate the wonder of the perfect round world in which we breathe and dwell and wander all our days — the fertile ground underneath our feet, the water, rocks and trees around us, the moon and myriad twinkling stars above us on a fine summer night, the company of good companions on our earthly journey.

I cannot claim to be graceful in my movements and have never been graceful. There is no poetry in motion here — hiking boots, runners, sandals and "wellies" are more my style than ballet slippers, and it has always been so— to lay claim to any graceful movement (however brief) would be anything but the truth, a falsehood of the first order. Nevertheless, there is grace in this old life, and it is boundless grace of the wildest and most natural kind, that wild grace at the heart of life of which Wendell Berry and Charles de Lint have written so eloquently now and again.

It occurs to me that without uttering the word aloud, assigning a character, or even thinking about Her very often, what I am seeking in my sunrise rambles out by the beaver pond is a whisper or a mere hint of the world's indwelling grace, a fleeting glimpse into the perfect untroubled heart of things. When I encounter Her for a moment down by the beaver pond or away somewhere among the trees and rocks, I rest easy within Her embrace, and like Wendell Berry, I know peace of mind — I am free.

Written for the graceful mamas at Mama Says Om.


Andromeda Jazmon said...

Wonderful. This is why I love Wendal Berry, and your blog. Peace.

Andromeda Jazmon said...

I mean Wendell Berry. Excuse me!

z-silverlight said...

I know what you mean. I wonder what kind of world there is going to be le4ft for my nephews and their children.

Kim Antieau said...

Lovely, darlin', just lovely.

Lil said...

Ah Cate, I needed to read this today...

Life over the past 6 months has accumulated into physical illness for me and complete and utter emotional burn out.

And yet, a spontatious invitation to a friend's home in the middle of the wilderness has re-ignited my embers...because I sat with Her and inhaled Her and listened to Her watery babble as I lay my head on Her bosom to fall alseep. I can feel Her touch healing's slow, but it's there...

At right up until this moment, I didn't know how to say all this until I read the poem and your words...

Thank you dear one.