When I begin thinking about writing a blog to talk about the issues, concerns and hopes involved in the transitions we as parents of new college students encounter, I didn’t anticipate it being an on-going posting of poetry. I sense it won’t always be such, but the attentive voice of poets who have their pulse on both the heart and soul have much to say to those of us seeking to navigate the sometimes murky relational water with our daughters and sons.
So this round, I turn to one of the most grounded persons currently writing – Wendell Berry. Author, essayist, poet, visionary, and dare I say prophet of what is right in the world and what is wrong. His keen eye for the simple and profound, often serves to guide my own pondering.
As you begin to settle into the absence of your daughter or son’s daily presence this first full month of their journey to college, I’m hopeful that Wendell’s words might guide you to a place of peace that this work of transitioning our relationships requires to do it well.
The Peace of Wild Things
— 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 to 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.