Contributed by Pastor Ryan Downing of Faith United Church of Christ

From ancient times to the present, whenever life’s troubles become too great or confusing, people have always been able to find solace in the wonders of nature. From the simple beauty of a spider’s web to the drama of a multi-colored sunset, the wonders and artistry of creation remind us that as wild and unpredictable as this world can be, beauty, wonder, and possibility also abound.

Poet Wendell Berry writes about this in his poem “The Peace of Wild Things.” Describing the experience of being in the presence of such quiet drama, Berry ends his poem, “For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”

Such grace is a gift.It is a gift of peace, and it is a gift that is always evolving, giving, and renewing.

As spring flowers begin to open to the sun, people will continue to reach out to others for help. While mighty rivers continue to draw waters to the sea, old animosities will continue to separate and challenge us. When competing voices argue over what is right and wrong, simple bird songs will suggest ancient harmonies that we might all learn from.

Whenever the world, either your own little corner or the great big mess of it all, begins to tug at your heart or get you down, take some time to rest in the peaceful grace of nature. Take some time to settle yourself. Take some time to find yourself in the great ecology of being in relationship with all that isand all that is continually being shared and renewed.

In this Easter season, we are reminded that new life is always possible, even in the wildest of circumstances. In Song of Songs, the poet is called into the peace of wild things and writes, “The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtle-dove is heard in our land.”

Sometimes, it takes such simple experiences to help us know a little peace. Sometimes, it takes the peace of wild things to help us find a little renewing grace in this world so that we might then be able to share that grace with others.