Tag Archives: nature

Anything created

“Anything created by human beings is already in the great book of nature.” — Antoni Gaudi One year ago today I published a post that is one of my favorites, because it includes a link to a delightful PBS re-mix featuring Fred Rogers.  It’s all about how “you can grow ideas in the garden of …

Continue reading

Bright, loud, weird and delicate

“I wish I could convey the perfection of a seal slipping into water or a spider monkey swinging from point to point or a lion merely turning its head. But language founders in such seas. Better to picture it in your head if you want to feel it…I spent more hours than I can count …

Continue reading

Repainting the landscape

“Nature has many scenes to exhibit, and constantly draws a curtain over this part or that. She is constantly repainting the landscape and all surfaces, dressing up some scene for our entertainment. Lately we had a leafy wilderness; now bare twigs begin to prevail, and soon she will surprise us with a mantle of snow. …

Continue reading

To be commanded

“Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.” — Francis Bacon This seeming paradox is one that every gardener knows well.  We can exert a strong influence over our gardens, if… If we observe the individual traits of our plants, our local soil, and our weather.  If we are regular and disciplined in tending them.  If …

Continue reading

Intended for solace

“Flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity.”  — John Ruskin You’ve probably noticed that I have been intentionally choosing themes that are linked in some way to the posts I did on the same day one year ago.  The first couple of times when this happened accidentally and readers commented on it, I …

Continue reading

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.  …

Continue reading

Net of wonder

“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” — Jacques Yves Cousteau After spending 21 of the past 24 years living near the ocean, I have no desire to live very far inland.  It’s interesting, because I don’t have any of the interests one might normally associate with …

Continue reading

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, …

Continue reading

Language of the imagination

“ ‘They are all beasts of burden in a sense,’ Thoreau once remarked of animals, ‘made to carry some portion of our thoughts.’ Animals are the old language of the imagination; one of the ten thousand tragedies of their disappearance would be a silencing of this speech.” ― Rebecca Solnit I’m not sure I understand …

Continue reading

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, …

Continue reading

The best remedy

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

A blissful perfection

“There is a blissful perfection in even the smallest, most mundane facets of everyday life, and appreciating this is an important source of happiness…Humans adapt to any type of experience, but scholars suggest that we’re less likely to adapt to tiny pleasures because, by their nature, they are unexpected and different each time they occur.” …

Continue reading

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, …

Continue reading

Pleasure in the pathless woods

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more…”  —Lord Byron There’s something very calming about nature that neutralizes the toxic overload of a …

Continue reading

Remembering: Beyond all reason

“God does not die on the day when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illumined by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond all reason.”  – Dag Hammarskjold Update one year later, 11-16-13: There I …

Continue reading

Not just a noun

“All the other colors are just colors, but purple seems to have a soul. Purple is not just a noun and an adjective but also a verb – when you look at it, it’s looking back at you.” — Uniek Swain* I’m tempted to begin with Alice Walker’s well known quote about the color purple, …

Continue reading

Bright and intense and beautiful

“Fall colors are funny. They’re so bright and intense and beautiful. It’s like nature is trying to fill you up with color, to saturate you so you can stockpile it before winter turns everything muted and dreary.” ― Siobhan Vivian That’s what I do on my walks; stockpile the colors and images and cool, smoke-scented …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

Enter this wild wood

Stranger, if thou hast learned a truth which needs No school of long experience, that the world Is full of guilt and misery, and hast seen Enough of all its sorrows, crimes, and cares, To tire thee of it, enter this wild wood And view the haunts of nature…  — William Cullen Bryant The poem from …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

The most perfect refreshment

“To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.” — Jane Austen I have been so happy to see Jane Austen finally getting the attention she always deserved.  When I was a young mother, I loaned a copy of Pride and Prejudice to our teenage babysitter, …

Continue reading

A vision that stays

“The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always.  No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree.  The feeling they produce is not transferable.  From them comes silence and awe…they are ambassadors from another time.” — John Steinbeck It really is impossible to capture a forest …

Continue reading