In times like these when all the news is bad or lewd, I tend to be focused on the tragedy of the day. My heart hurts to hear about violence, the rampage of suicide bombers, the lives of homeless refugees and various stories of relentless details of pain and loss. It is in these times that I seek out the comforting words of 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.
– From The Peace of Wild Things
Contemplation, prayer, focus on positive words of hope combine to help me “rest in the grace of the world.” Then I can proclaim with joy-filled optimism, “I am free!”