Take a Moment – The Peace of Wild Things

Aug 25, 2020

Today’s reflection on how birds can provide needed solace, comes to us from Chaplain Esther  who is also a fan of poet Wendell Berry.

In general, though especially in summer, we are encouraged to drink a lot of water, which is a type of refuge to the body.

True indeed; but then, what is a refuge to the soul?


Recently, a bird outside our window spent two days building a beautiful nest, then laid an egg and has been dutifully sitting on it.

My husband has been especially enjoying the show of what will happen next and watching the egg when the momma bird is gone.


Sadly, this morning my husband said, “I need a chaplain. The nest was knocked out of the tree and I’m really feeling sad.”

He was grieving the creation of the nest and the birth of the baby bird, as well as all the time the momma bird had dedicated.


We began talking about how the nature of a bird is to move on, not to dwell on it, which we are trying to do as well.

Then I ran across this poem entitled, The Peace of Wild Things, by Wendell Berry.


“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.


What freeing thoughts and a comforting grace to me and to you.”

Several time a week, our chaplains send out a morning reflection via email to all Chaplaincy Health Care staff. These reflections have become a source of inspiration, support, comfort, laughter and sometimes tears. They are a valuable and welcome item in our inboxes. They keep us connected to each other, ourselves and to the divine spirit that connects us all. So, TAKE A MOMENT to enjoy these reflection posts. May they move you, support you, comfort you and remind you, even in this time of disconnection, we are all connected.