Park Bench Epitaphs

If I can time our daily outings to the park or the lake just right, Xavier will fall asleep in his stroller and then I get a little bit of quiet time to read, write or simply watch the breeze move through the trees.  We have a few favorite park benches in shady spots, perfect for a stolen half hour.  I "collect" the heartfelt memorials people dedicate to loved ones on park benches.  The succinct and personal epitaphs are so moving and  the plaques take on an appealing patina through weather and wear.  I always imagine a person pausing to think with pencil in hand, writing, scratching out and revising the words until it sounds just right, possibly shedding a few tears.  And then I imagine them coming often to sit on their special bench, smiling, remembering.  When I pause for a few moments on a dedicated bench, I can feel the love between strangers whom I'll never meet.

"I come into the peace of wild things....." I vaguely remembered this line as a fragment of a poem, so I googled it when I got home and rediscovered that Poet-Farmer-Man-of-Letters, Wendell Berry.  


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


  1. I am in love with that WB poem, which until this blog, I had never read. Love it! And you know, I think I should like to remember some of my lost loved ones in this way.

  2. Glad to send some poetry right back at ya, Irene.

  3. It is really fantastic! May I ask where it is?