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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 with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Great poems have a voice that is easy to inhabit. Say this poem to yourself, and its voice becomes yours. I say this poem often when despair grows in me or I wake in fear. I say it as I go out into the peace of wild things, to remind me why I am there and what I will find. I said it once on a sleepless night as I sat by a lake watching the stars fade so gradually that even after they had gone day-blind in the dawn sky, I could feel them waiting with their light.