Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

The Peace of Wild Things

tags: , , , , ,


Male Wood Duck, Aix sponsa.

Image: John Del Rio [larger view].

This has been a difficult and frightening week, and I admit I was especially terrified to learn that my bank failed and was seized by the SEC last night — how am I going to pay rent this month?? — and I’ve wondered if we all would make it to Friday without the entire nation ending up hungry and homeless. But I am deplaning in Seattle at this moment, and getting ready to spend the weekend with my bird pals and my university pals, as well as my colleagues and friends from ScienceBlogs, eating good food and drinking microbrewery beers. So I wanted to leave you with this poem to think about while I find free wifi to write more for you this afternoon and evening.

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.

From The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry (Washington, D.C.: Counterpoint; 1998)


  1. #1 shecky
    September 26, 2008

    I’ve read this poem in the distant past, but had long forgotten about it. Very nice piece to head into the weekend with, especially after THIS momentous week.

  2. #2 GrayGaffer
    September 26, 2008

    You’re in Seattle this weekend? Any group get-together in the offing?

    Free wi-fi: in the Library, 4th & Madison. Several coffee shops along 1st, like the Book? (with coffee). The coffee shops on 4th and 5th just S of the Space needle. But if you’re reading this, you probably already found a nice place.

  3. #3 "GrrlScientist"
    September 27, 2008

    i am in seattle this weekend, and am currently preparing to attend the ScienceBlogs millionth comment party today at Ozzie’s Roadhouse [105 west mercer, at the foot of Queen Anne] and i hope you join me!

  4. #4 biosparite
    September 27, 2008

    Concerning WaMu, your checking account is a demand account, and the money is there. JP Morgan Chase stepped in, so unless you are a shareholder or have over $100 K at WaMu, you should be fine.

New comments have been disabled.