an inefffable time


nesting debris1

This is the year when I have less years ahead, than I have behind me. I am not happy or sad about this, but rather grateful. It is an ineffable time in one’s life as one has the ability to be moved by all that has gone before, and rejoice in all that will lay ahead for others. Many years ago, when I was a young woman and after I had given birth to my second child, my seventy year-old father and I went for a walk together through my childhood neighborhood. As we walked side-by-side, we talked about these children. He was not a self-reflective individual, but he was a sensitive one. He said to me, without bitterness or self-pity but with an honest statement, “I wish I could live to see them [his grandchildren] grow up.” I too wish I could live to see many things come to fruition in the world, but it seems right that I will not. I am a part of nature; I am a part of the world. “Coming into the peace of wild things” is what life demands from us.

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 in their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

-Wendell Berry

My thanks goes out to Rev. Jill Lum who gave this poem to me many years ago. It stays with me as a reminder of her goodness, and of my own part in the world.


One Response to “an inefffable time”

  1. Jill Lum Says:

    I am touched (that word is one I rarely choose), but that is exactly how I feel. And I read the poem in an entirely new way- in the context of your precious story (precious, another word I rarely choose, but that is it– precious, treasured, to be cherished and kept). I am sending this to my dad… Peace be with you and all dear to you, Jill


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