Wendell Berry lives and farms in Port Royal, Kentucky. For nearly 20 years, he has spent Sunday mornings walking in nature, observing things, and putting them in poems. One of the most impressive qualities about this writer is his respect for place. He also demonstrates a reverence for the abundant wonders of the natural world.
"The seed is in the ground/Now may we rest in hope/While darkness does its work," Berry writes in a short but poignant poem. This long-time farmer has great faith in the rhythm of the seasons and the cycles of death and rebirth. He is a tree person, one who knows in his bones the wisdom they hold within. In one poem, he pays tribute to them with the lines, "Great trees, outspreading and upright,/Apostles of the living light."
Berry uses the Sabbath as a time for long looking and listening. He senses the presence of the frog and the warbler invisible, just out of his sight. He feels the deer watching him silently. "Wild is anything that's not at home/In something else's place."
These Sabbath poems are unhurried; Berry walks slow, relishes what is all around him, and sings his praises with just the right amount of words. A Timbered Choir is a sheer delight. Savor it on your Sabbath.