When we move low, back toward the soil from which we can learn the lessons of our true humanity, we are able to enter a kind of peace. Humility is not about struggle or diminishment but rather is the relief that we are not God, that we are mere creatures. Wendell Berry gives voice to this truth in one of his most popular poems, “The Peace of Wild Things”:
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.
— from the book Wendell Berry and the Given Life
by Ragan Sutterfield