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 may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in the 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 lights. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and I am free.”

Wendell Berry

At times it feels as if the wild and free has been stripped away. From within me and in our human world on earth.

And then I remember that can only be taken away if we agree to, and participate in, its demise within and without.

A dear friend placed Wendell Berry’s words above on her social media page a few days ago. Words that I had seen and heard before, but that came at just the right time once again. A time when I am indeed heart broken by the impact of events and actions going on in the world and closer to home.

We all know there is violence and boundary disputes in the more than human world. Part of the way of all living beings. Yet there is a difference.

An innate sense of belonging is built into the heron and the wood drake where attention is only drawn to immediate needs of food or mating or simply rest and connection. They inhabit this interconnected habitat by instinct, never questioning it as humans do, and certainly never destroying it.

As we age we have the choice to accept and surrender into the “peace of wild things” – a refuge and sanctuary reminding us where we have come from, and what nurtures our heart and soul.

It is these very moments where our senses celebrate – the sound of a creek flowing over rocks, flight of a hawk gliding on unseen wind currents, spontaneous show of brilliant red on the wing of a cardinal, sound of birdsong in Spring after a night of soothing rain, scent of tree bark while walking a nature trail, textures of earth beneath bare feet, feel of mists settling on upturned face, wind blowing through strands of hair, or the powerful energy of a storm – that we remember to rest in the peace of wild things.

The weaving of elemental inter-being that we are so much a part of. That we are.

Let us not forget this underlying root and core of our existence here. The sanctuary of wild things where we can lay our burdens down and rest for awhile. For if we forget we have indeed lost our untamed freedom to rest in the grace of the world and to love fully with compassion and gratitude.

This is demonstrated so beautifully by Brett Bard in the short film by Green Renaissance below. This happened to come into my inbox this morning as I was getting ready to publish this post. As I followed this man on his walk with his animals, connection to the earth and his pure happiness in his vegetable garden on a day when attention may be captured by war, strife and struggle, I knew that I was to share it with you. I hope it gives you moments of simple peace as it did me…..and a pause for reflection. .

If people could love each other the way dogs love us, the world would be a different place.” – Brett Bard

“Jul 17, 2019 • Love is a strange and beautiful thing. But we often put provisions on love – we attach it to how others are acting, to circumstances and emotions. But what would the world be like if we stopped looking to get something in return, and just loved unconditionally, for the happiness it brings us all? The most important thing is to learn to give out love, and let it come in. “

To be part of our film making journey :

Filmed near Klaarstroom, a small town in Western Cape, South Africa.

Who is Green Renaissance? We are a tiny collective of 2 passionate filmmakers (Michael and Justine). We live off-grid and dedicate our time to making films that we hope will inspire and share ideas.

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Gaye Abbott, Natural Passages Consulting, 2/23/22. Please feel free to share this post and link to WildlyFreeElder


3 Comments on “The Peace of Wild Things

  1. In these troubled times, with all of the despair and real opportunity, your posts are a beacon for me. Thank you.

  2. In these troubled times, with all the despair and also real opportunity, your words are a beacon for me. Thank you.

    • Your expression of gratitude made my day Mary Ellen! Thank you for taking the time to connect with me! You are also bringing
      an artistry of well being into the world through the work that you are doing at the Well Within Workshop. So appreciate you! Gaye

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