Tag Archives: beauty

The onrush of scenery

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.” ― Sylvia Plath It’s difficult to read this quote from Plath without thinking of the sad reality that she chose to end her own life while still young, with two small children.  …

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Pretty, yes pretty!

“To my mind, a picture should be something pleasant, cheerful, and pretty, yes pretty! There are too many unpleasant things in life as it is without creating still more of them.” ― Pierre-Auguste Renoir With that view of art, no wonder Renoir left us so many gorgeous works to enjoy.  I realize there is a …

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Places in our hearts

“The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size.”  — Gertrude S. Wister When we first moved to Virginia, I was delighted that the home we bought featured several camellias along the back fence.  They’ve grown impressively large, and since they bloom in winter, …

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A white quilt

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” ― Lewis Carroll Snow can seem brutal when we have to shovel it, …

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Actually see

“The beauty and mystery of this world only emerges through affection, attention, interest and compassion . . . open your eyes wide and actually see this world by attending to its colors, details and irony.” ― Orhan Pamuk There’s a double blessing in opening our eyes to the world around us.  Not only are we …

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A big contribution

“In all your relationships, you’re never too small to make a big contribution, and never too big to make a small one.” — Mardy Grothe Thanks to everyone here who visits here!  You have given to us in big and small ways over the past year.  I thought all of us could use a mental …

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I am grateful

“I am grateful for the beauty in the midst of suffering. I am grateful for the treasure hunt through the minefield of life.  Dangerous or not, I don’t want out of the minefield.  Because truth, and beauty , and God are there.” – Glennon Doyle Melton As I write this, the day before Thanksgiving, Jeff …

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Not destroyed

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” — 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NIV) It’s a bit frightening, being this close to the edge of suffering and death.  It’s not territory we chose to explore, but even from here, the view …

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Peculiar and inexhaustible influence

“Her pleasure in the walk must arise from the exercise and the day, from the view of the last smiles of the year upon the tawny leaves and withered hedges, and from repeating to herself some few of the thousand poetical descriptions extant of autumn–that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence…” — Jane Austen Monday, …

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Autumnal sunshine

“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.” — Nathaniel Hawthorne “In autumn, don’t go to jewelers to see gold; go to the parks!” — Mehmet Murat ildan As our President would say, let me be clear.  Yesterday’s post was about rainy weather.  On a gloriously bright fall day, we simply MUST find …

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A moveable feast

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”  ― Ernest Hemingway I haven’t even been lucky enough to visit Paris more than twice, let alone live there, but for …

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Such a beautiful day

“I cried at first…..and then, it was such a beautiful day, that I forgot to be unhappy.” — Frances Noyes Hart Have you ever walked outside in a gloomy mood, and been overtaken by the sheer beauty of the day? It’s happened to me many times, and the feeling of relief and joy that floods …

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A harmony in autumn

“There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!” — Percy Bysshe Shelley If I was absolutely forced to choose a favorite season, it would be autumn.  Even its name is more …

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Inconceivable antiquity

“How cunningly nature hides every wrinkle of her inconceivable antiquity under roses and violets and morning dew!” – Ralph Waldo Emerson Ah, but Ralph, you say “inconceivable antiquity” like it’s a bad thing!  Some of us would like to think that nature is all the more appealing because of her longevity.  Perhaps the flowers are not …

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The perturbing mystery

“The butterfly’s attractiveness derives not only from colors and symmetry:  deeper motives contribute to it.  We would not think them so beautiful if they did not fly, or if they flew straight and briskly like bees, or if they stung, or above all if they did not enact the perturbing mystery of metamorphosis: the latter …

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The greatness of a nation

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way it treats its animals.” —  Mahatma Gandhi While Matt was at Ride a Wave in Santa Cruz, a fascinating drama was unfolding on the beach nearby, where a stranded seal pup was being rescued.  I watched as workers carefully manipulated the net …

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A virtue in itself

“A good disposition is a virtue in itself, and it is lasting; the burden of the years cannot depress it, and love that is founded on it endures to the end.” — Ovid I can’t think of anyone with a better disposition than my Aunt Peggy.  She has endured more than a few experiences that …

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Waiting to be enjoyed

“…no matter where you live, the woods and parks, the trees, sky and sun are free and only waiting to be enjoyed.  You never know what you’ll learn from a walk in the park.” — Tammy Strobel Whenever the weather is nice — not too hot or cold, sunny with maybe a light breeze, or …

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Enliven and transform

“Instead of resigning ourselves to lives in which 75 percent of the day is less enjoyable or at best, neutral, we can find ways to enliven and transform these moments.” — Todd Kashdan Whatever you have planned for today, tomorrow, or this week, see if you can think up some ways to add sparkle to …

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In a garden

The kiss of the sun for pardon The song of the birds for mirth One is nearer God’s heart in the garden Than anywhere else on earth — Dorothy Gurney I don’t know what it is about Canada, whether it’s the climate or the eagerness for warm weather or the souls of its people, but …

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Dear earth

“…a greater glory I may one day see, but oh today, dear earth, how I love thee.” — Louise E. Weber, as recorded in The Notes by Ronald Reagan (page 47) Skeptics sometimes describe those of us who believe in heaven as people for whom religion is a crutch; a desperate hope to which we …

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The mystic moon

At midnight, in the month of June, I stand beneath the mystic moon. An opiate vapor, dewy, dim, Exhales from out her golden rim… —Edgar Allan Poe Last Saturday, just after the summer solstice, I returned from a wonderfully cool evening walk with Pasha.  Although it was nearly 9:00 pm, there was still daylight outside.  …

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A garden and a library

“He who has a garden and a library wants for nothing.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero Several weeks ago one of our readers sent me this quote, and I immediately thought “That would make a great post for the blog.”  What makes the quote so appealing is that most people can have at least a small library and …

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To flowers

“I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.” — Claude Monet It’s easy to believe that flowers inspired Monet to capture beauty on canvas, creating some of my favorite masterpieces.  Add one more amazing gift to the lengthy list of the ways flowers have enhanced our lives. The flowers seem even more beautiful than usual this year.  …

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Solace, inspiration, adventure

“Nature has been for me, for as long as I remember, a source of solace, inspiration, adventure, and delight; a home, a teacher, a companion.” — Lorraine Anderson Whatever may be bugging you, I’ll bet it would be eased somewhat if you could manage a few moments to get away to a place without electronics, …

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