Where the Wood Drake Rests

“[… ] I come to into the peace of wild things / who do not tax their lives with forethought / of grief.”
from “The Peace of Wild Things” by Wendell Berry

This morning E. stops me in the kitchen and wraps his arms around me, and I find it annoying – this intrusion into my mood. I’m in a familiar groove and flowing quickly, and he is blocking me.

I’m impatient, but I let him hold me. Probably all of 4 seconds. He tells me I’m not breathing from my center. He points out how I’m only breathing with my upper chest, simultaneously holding so much tension that even my upper chest is barely moving.

The pain in my shoulders and arms is back. Creeping up my neck, and I panic thinking about the months of sleepless nights this spring, when I held a constant ache from my ribcage up.

I want to cry.


Last night I chopped onions and garlic and chilis to make salsa. The tears ran down my cheeks and I just let them. That is as close as I’ve come to crying in a very long time.

I know this sounds bizarre, but it seemed like my cheeks were grateful for the tears. I felt my whole body relax a little while I squeezed the limes, and cut the slightly-wilted cilantro.

I was relaxed when I turned off the lights at ten. But then as sleep crept in, so too the nocturnal imp who demands I work it all out before dawn. He sits on my chest, and I find it difficult to breathe.

For a while, I wonder if it is a symptom of Covid 19. If it’s a heart attack. If it’s Rumpelstiltskin. But I’m dreaming and it’s just after one.


It’s another flat day. The sky without depth. I hear the cars driving through puddles in the street outside. I’m going to fold the clothes that are piled-up downstairs and put them away in the drawers and closets. I’m going to finish my tea. Then –

I’ll go to the forest
and sit for a while.

I’ve seen wood ducks there – only rarely.
But it’s certainly worth a shot.

And if nothing else,
I can listen to the wind
rattle the branches of the trees,
and I can breathe.


3 Comments

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  1. Just want to remind you how much I’ve valued and do value your reflections and words, even when they are distressed or uneasy, when they are receptive to joy and to balance. They help me. J.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What James says I say too. What a difference reading you makes for me. No matter the feelings, no matter the thoughts, there is a willingness of heart that speaks clear as day. Not debt, not that word, but appreciation and especially what you say that allows me to see more of myself. Neil

    Liked by 1 person

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