In these hours of being sequestered from the infection of a virus, we are also separated from each other: Even for avowed introverts it may become a little too much.
I don’t know if Wendell Berry—the poet-farmer I quoted in Sunday’s preamble to the 23
Psalm—is an introvert, but I’m relatively sure that if you’re a farmer in Henry County, Kentucky, you’ll spend plenty of time alone. Here’s the poem of his that I quoted:
The silence of the barn at evening,
when the shepherd draws shut the door
and starts home for the night, is heavenly,
for it says almost aloud that every lamb
is found, every ewe has found her lamb
and is feeding, and is content.
There is another of the barn’s silences
that is heavenly also, for it says
that the ewes and their young ones now
are gone from it to new pasture,
the now-green, the first-grown grass
of the spring, and they are delighted,
the shepherd delighted with their delight.
Berry usually wrote his poems on a small porch in the woods, a place of stillness and reflection.
So this week, instead of wringing my hands or listening to news--more news that tells me nothing I didn’t know before--I’m going to let silence calm my spirit. Introvert or extrovert, the health of my heart thrives when I allow some of this time apart to be spent being still
, inside as well as outside.
Washing our hands is important; wringing them? Not so much.