My grandmother's house had a sleeping porch, and when I was little it was one of my very favorite places to sleep. She lived in south Arkansas, just 1/2 hour north of the Louisiana border; summers were sweltering, nights filled with sticky breezes and the sound of cicadas. Winters were fairly temperate, but a pile of quilts was still a delicious necessity.
THE PEACE OF WILD THINGS
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