Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Peace Of Wild Things

It's been a while since I have posted - I always thought that once I finished with the doctoral coursework, I would have a lot more time to post. However, it's been exactly the opposite - conference deadlines, research experiments and literature review for that in-the-distance dissertation has me completely swamped. Of course, I spend a lot of time listening to NPR(the podcasts while taking my daily constitutional and regular radio broadcasts when I get home from school) but that hardly counts, right ?

However, there are some events that you just can't pass up writing about. I am in Philadelphia this week (spending the spring break with my grandmother or as I call her - "Mummy"). I managed to catch an episode of ER this morning. This one was special because the word "favorite" kept coming up - my favorite episode of my favorite show with my favorite actor (Alan Alda) as the guest star, and last but certainly not the least, eponymous with one of my favorite poems - "The Peace of Wild Things" by Wendell Berry. The scene where Alda recites the (somewhat paraphrased and shortened) poem makes for brilliant television.

Here's the amazingly poignant poem in its entirety:

When despair grows in me
and I wake in the middle of 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 for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

I don't know about you but when I read this poem, I get this feeling of blissful serenity that's pretty hard to come by in today's world.