The Peace of Wild Things + The Little Duck (Special Guest: Judy Leatherwood Smith)

Photo by  Ameen Fahmy  on  Unsplash

Photo by Ameen Fahmy on Unsplash

For our first episode in the 2018 series of Summer Together, special guest Judy Leatherwood Smith joins Rev. Tommy Williams to share a couple of her favorite poems.

Judy, who is a member of St. Paul's UMC, remarks about why she loves these poems, "There's a preciousness of being a creature on earth... we are held by something so much larger and going out in nature just reminds me of that."

The Peace Of Wild Things
by Wendell Berry

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

And Judy shares another poem, one that fell out of book she had pulled from her shelf. Rev. Williams joyfully quips, "Anytime the poem falls out of a book, it probably needs to be read!" 

The Little Duck
by Donald Babcock

Now we are ready to look at something pretty special.
It is a duck riding the ocean a hundred feet beyond the surf,
And he cuddles in the swells.

There is a big heaving in the Atlantic.
And he is part of it.
He can rest while the Atlantic heaves, because he rests in the Atlantic.
Probably he doesn’t know how large the ocean is.

And neither do you.
But he realizes it.

And what does he do, I ask you.
He sits down in it.
He reposes in the immediate as if it were infinity – which it is.
That is religion, and the duck has it.

I like the little duck.
He doesn’t know much.
But he has religion.

Now, it's your turn for reflection! Feel free to leave your comments below. Do you have a favorite poem that vividly captures images of the natural world? What about it speaks to you and your soul? Share it with us.