I am blessed to be staying in Kula, a tiny town nestled 3500 feet up, on the island of Maui. For me, this time away represents a much-needed and long overdue respite — a time to reflect on what has been and to ponder possibilities. An old writer-friend used to say: “The hardest choices are not between the good and the bad; the hardest choices are between two good things.”
My life is blessed with many good things, and discerning choices — even those “small” day-to-day decisions — can be a dizzying source of tension and angst. I am grateful to my friends Kerith and Ali for their hospitality and to tender Haley for being my 4-legged companion during my stay.
This morning, as I took a beautiful walk along a narrow, one-lane road, the promise of new perspective hovered in the air. I was reminded of the healing power that comes from immersing oneself in the beauty of the earth. The sense of renewed hope and the promise of restoration called to mind this favorite poem:
The Peace of Wild Things by 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 into 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.