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Soothing Anxiety with “The Peace of Wild Things”

Posted Oct 03 2008 11:32am

What a week!    Last night as I watched the Vice Presidential Debate I realized I was unwrapping and eating an awful lot of coffee candies. (Hard candies that normally last a good fifteen minutes, I was chewing them in three).    The debate ended.  I paced the living room floor and yelled to my hubby that I needed to go for a “wheelchair walk”.   (I push the wheelchair as far as I can.   When my body gives out I get in the chair and my husband gets a work out.)  

We walked and talked.   Walks, I always find therapeutic whether on my own two feet or by the grace of my husband’s.   The fresh air, movement, the conversation sorts out what needs to be.   By the end of our walk last night, I came to a personal awareness –I was ANXIOUS– anxious in caps.  


What a week for all of us in the US of A.   For me my anxiety was already stirring with my daughter newly far away at school.   We said good-bye to her less than a week before MONDAY.    I wonder if we will give a historical name to Mon. Sept. 29th, —the day the stock market plummeted 777 points, and the fact that our banks were failing fast blasted from our tv’s, our radios, our newspapers.   “Credit freeze”,   “Worst drop in the stock market since the Depression”.   Each of us had our own worries depending on how the state of our economy would effect us and ours, as well as a collective worry about how the state of our economy would effect our country’s future and the rest of the world.


Yesterday I learned other news that will change daily life a bit and require adjustments.   What a week!   I’m reaching into my “deal with anxiety tool chest”.   Earlier this morning I did some gentle yoga, focusing on breathing deeply and slowly.


I am sticking militantly as physically possible to my daily routine.   For me this means, taking my morning meds, getting dressed in “day” clothes (showering first when I’m physically able), making our bed, spending time on the computer ( right now), next step will be drinking my supplement smoothy for breakfast.   I will not bore you with the rest.Routine, some of us need more of it than others; I’m one that needs more.


I’m reminding myself to “be”, which   means with whatever I’m feeling “now”—whether it’s ANXIETY, fear, contentment, affection, physical pain, cognitive challenge, frustration at not being able to move my uncooperative body (which has become apart of this “now”).  


Another tool I keep in my “deal with anxiety chest” is reading a quote, a poem, an essay…something that helps me view life with a level perspective, and to feel at peace with myself and the world around me.   T his morning I share my favorite poem with you who have stopped by, as we all have shared this “heck of a week”. 


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 maybe,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

Rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

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.


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