ISSS essay contest 2016

“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. ”

– Wendall Berry, "The Peace of Wild Things"

Mr. Berry takes solace from fear of future suffering by resting deeply in the present, in a particular place, in a part of the world he believes is worth saving. Tell us about your place worth saving, perhaps a wild place in Illinois or back home, or maybe a favorite part of a city or country, a place that motivates you to take care of the earth and all its inhabitants, a place that brings you peace.

In honor of International Education Week (April 4-10), ISSS held an essay contest in which participants responded to the prompt above. Below are links to the first and second place winners' essays. Enjoy!

2016 winner


First Place: Srushti Acharekar

Saving Memories and Not Places

Second Place: Bisrat Atalay, Ethiopia

My Sanctuary: Unseen Glimpse of Heaven


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