“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.”
― Wendell Berry, of course.
The practical application for this week: Admit to ourselves that a place of still and quiet is indeed possible. Devices of our own choosing are all that keep us away. Embrace the truth that the coming Christ will be embodied in those who wait in peace, in wilderness, in vulnerability.
How far do you live from such a place? A five-minute drive? Ten? What if it’s an hour? What hour-long task or worry might you gladly sacrifice for a moment of solitude and grace?
In this season, frozen waters are still waters. Let these natural rhythms be our cue: that winter is a time for rest and peace, not frenzied rush. The iced-over awaits transformation, as a living and hurried thing never can. Somewhere close by, there is a wilderness place that speaks of our own emptiness, our own frozen hope.
Find it, get there, and be. You will not be sorry.