Posted by: davepidgeon | April 18, 2009

Just go on

 

Standing on the shore of the Rio Pacuare.

Standing on the shore of the Rio Pacuare.

 

All I could hear at that moment was the rush of the Rio Pacuare flowing past my hammock. A lull in the conversation among Alison, a new friend from Florida and myself had developed, and I swayed in the hammock strung up on our friend’s bungalow porch looking out at the green river. We were enjoying a siesta after an adrenaline-inducing zip line tour at the Pacuare Lodge, and I began to think about how riding a small pulley on an even smaller wire across tree tops some 100 feet above the ground meant combatting a dreaded fear of heights.

“Take a look at this,” our friend said as she leaned forward in her chair and handed me a magazine. She pointed to a poem she wanted me to read:

 

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.

— Wendell Berry

I couldn’t have felt farther from home, sensing from that hammock the comforting distance between myself at the lodge and a future job cut thousands of miles away in Pennsylvania. And I simply wanted to just go on as I had been since arriving at the Pacuare Lodge, facing fears with my wife by my side and pursuing the activities and the feelings that made me free.

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