Only in the quiet place

There’s something about being in the natural environment that reveals our humanness. And this isn’t just out in the wilds, it’s also in parks and gardens.

Being quiet in the more-than-human world paradoxically both amplifies and puts into perspective who we are as human beings. We see ourselves more clearly.

This weekend as I and many others walk through the Easter journey, I am drawn to the first of Wendell Berry’s published Sabbath poems.

There is quiet space here to listen and compassionately engage with the depths of our being.


I go among trees and sit still.
All my stirring becomes quiet
around me like circles on water.
My tasks lie in their places
where I left them, asleep like cattle.

Then what is afraid of me comes
and lives a while in my sight.
What it fears in me leaves me,
and the fear of me leaves it.
It sings and I hear its song.

Then what I am afraid of comes.
I live for a while in its sight.
What I fear in it leaves it,
and the fear of it leaves me.
It sings and I hear its song.

After days of labour,
mute in my consternations,
I hear my song at last,
and I sing it. As we sing,
the day turns, the trees move.

+ Wendell Berry, Sabbath Poem 1 (1979), from ‘This Day: Collected & New Sabbath Poems’

Pause. See differently. Re-story 🌿