The Peaceableness of Topsoil



The most exemplary nature is that of the topsoil.
It is very Christ-like in its passivity and beneficence,
and in the penetrating energy that issues
out of its peaceableness.
It increases by experience,
by the passage of seasons over it,
growth rising out of it
and returning to it,
not by ambition or aggressiveness.
It is enriched
by all things that die
and enter into it.

It keeps the past,
not as history or as memory,
but as richness, new possibility.
Its fertility is always building up
out of death into promise.
Death is the bridge or the tunnel
by which its past
enters its future.
~Wendell Berry from “The Native Hill”



Shimmering Bliss


I became aware of the world’s tenderness,
the profound beneficence of all that surrounded me,
the blissful bond between me and all of creation,
and I realized that the joy I sought …
breathed around me everywhere…
in the metallic yet tender drone of the wind,
in the autumn clouds bloated with rain.

I realized that the world does not represent a struggle at all…
a predaceous sequence of chance events,
but shimmering bliss,
beneficent trepidation,
a gift bestowed on us and unappreciated.

~Vladimir Nabokov from his story “Beneficence”