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.

Listen to Wendell Berry read this poem with accompanying illustrations by Charlotte Anger:

Directed and animated by Katy Wang. Illustration and art direction by Charlotte Ager. Music and sound by David Kamp.

From Collected Poems (North Point Press), © 1985.
Reprinted here with the kind permission of Wendell Berry.