Late this afternoon, as I was hauling wood by hand up to the house in the growing twilight, I thought of Wendell Berry’s poem, “The Peace of Wild Things.” In it, the speaker asserts that being present with nature—with the wood duck and heron, still water and stars—restores him, returns him to the state of wild grace that our fraught human existence often fractures and masks. 

I was tired, the tractor wouldn’t start, and sleet was forecast overnight. Grabbing a small dolly, I loaded fragrant splits of white oak onto its frame. The second time trudging up the hill from the woodshed, I suddenly woke up to the sound of birds. Without the tractor’s rattle, I could hear all the small lives that were preparing for night—the cheeps and whistles of sparrows, titmice, a phoebe. Instead of the heaviness of the wood, I felt light. Breathed in chilly, smoke-scented air. Looked up to clouds purling in from the west. Said, thank you.

 A fit, graced end to this day of printing peace. 


“peace” holiday cards on press this morning —

using antique wood type from the St Brigid Press collection

“Peace” holiday cards on press this afternoon —

composed with metal type and ornaments

And now, an evening by the fire.

May you all be well, warm, and filled with peace.

Our trusty Jøtel woodstove, warming us this chilly night.