The Peace of Wild Things
by 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.
On Friday, June 24th, My Refuge House celebrated the completion of the Healing Garden by having a short blessing ceremony to pray over the garden and share in community over our hard work. We gathered in a circle around the garden as an MRH family, along with visitors from Irving Bible Church, and our illustrious CEO visiting from California. We began by praying a rogation blessing (“rogation” is latin for “to ask”) which is an agricultural prayer parishes used to pray while walking around their harvest fields. The rogation blessing is part of the liturgical calendar, and though our dates did not line up, it was perfect for such an event. The opening line of the prayer says: “As all the earth is a garden, Lord, we ask that you bless this small piece of earth. As your Light shines upon us and upon this garden, giving us life, likewise help us to give light and life to others.” You can find the prayer we used here; it is beautiful.
This prayer was followed by the poem written at the beginning, which happens to be one of my all time favorite poems, and was read by one of our beautiful educators. Two more powerful prayers were read to end the brief ceremony, thanking God for the land and our own connection to it. Praying for physical and spiritual nourishment – how we come from the earth and how we will return to it. It is thus our responsibility to care for it in the time between so as to grow fruit from the ground and from our own lives. It was lovely to be reminded of our relationship to the earth and to pray for wisdom on how to best tend to it.
After the prayers and poem we spent time sharing in community with one another and the garden while enjoying delicious treats such as polvoron (a Filipino candy), watermelon, and ice cream. It was such a wonderful feeling to sit back and watch people relax in the garden and relish the time spent with friends, family, and food. The garden has taken almost a year from first conceptualization to dedication and it is breathtaking to see what can be created with wild ideas, unfailing support, and blind trust. I cannot express how blessed I am to be a part of such a team here at My Refuge House. Everyone aided in making this garden a reality by contributing their hard work and dedication – all the while backing me up and being open to new ideas. They put an enormous amount of trust in me to spearhead this project and I will always be grateful for such an opportunity. This project has been an amazing learning experience, personally and professionally, and to see something grow before your eyes is magical.
I cannot wait to see it in a year from now when all of the trees and vines have grown and spread. It is lovely now, but will be even more so with time. What a special place for healing and meditation!
Than you. Thank you. Thank you.
All my love.