How Small A Thing Can Be Pleasing

It feels so marvelous to get out into the woods. We love the familiar sight of Mt. Rainier rising above Seattle in all her surreal glory, but we haven't actually spent much time there - crazy, I know, since the National Park is only two hours away. We had a very good excuse this last weekend to go exploring as we were invited to a dear friend's birthday gathering. I was happily reminded that the best kind of therapy is tramping around in mountains. Watching yellow leaves falling in the sunshine trickling through the forest and remembering "how small a think can be pleasing..." as Wendell Berry muses below.

 

 

VII

Again I resume the long
lesson: how small a thing
can be pleasing, how little
in this hard world it takes
to satisfy the mind
and bring it to its rest.

Within the ongoing havoc
the woods this morning is
almost unnaturally still.
Through stalled air, unshadowed
light, a few leaves fall
of their own weight.

                                       The sky
is gray. It begins in mist
almost at the ground
and rises forever. The trees
rise in silence almost
natural, but not quite,
almost eternal, but
not quite.

                      What more did I
think I wanted? Here is
what has always been.
Here is what will always
be. Even in me,
the Maker of all this
returns in rest, even
to the slightest of His works,
a yellow leaf slowly
falling, and is pleased.

 

~ Wendell Berry, from This Day

Sarah Burns