Tag Archives: nature

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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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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So rare

And what is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days…  — James Russell Lowell June has been a blur for us this year, as perhaps it has been for you.  We’ve been overwhelmed with hospitalizations, seemingly endless appointments, backlogged tasks indoors and out, and the yearly traffic snarls from summer …

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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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Make them carry you

“If the winds of fortune are temporarily blowing against you, remember that you can harness them and make them carry you toward your definite purpose, through the use of your imagination.” — Napoleon Hill Windmills are a visually appealing reminder that forces beyond our control can be turned to good purpose.  Wind-driven machines have been …

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Joy untroubled

“Love the animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled.” — Fyodor Dostoyevsky I don’t know of anything that can lighten the mood as much as a cute or playful animal.  I realize many situations make it impossible to have a pet in the home, but I hope everyone has the …

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Flowers are the music

“Flowers are the music of the ground…” — Edwin Curran For many Americans my age or older, it’s almost impossible to visit the Bavarian Alps without remembering the opening scenes from the movie The Sound of Music.  So Curran’s quote seemed appropriate for this photo of a garden in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.  If you’ve ever been to …

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Expect nothing

“Expect nothing.  Live frugally On surprise.” — Alice Walker It may seem contradictory for a self-proclaimed optimist to quote Walker’s counsel to expect nothing, but there is very real difference between expectation and optimism. Admittedly, optimism involves some expectation, but it is mostly of a general sort. We expect that joy lies ahead if we …

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Nature’s way

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’”  — Robin Williams Surely by now, warm spring weather has started to arrive in even the chilliest parts of the northern hemisphere.  Better late than never! What can we do to celebrate springtime this week?   Take a walk, plan a picnic, visit a park.  Make some lemonade, bake some …

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You should ramble

“To enjoy scenery you should ramble amidst it; let the feelings to which it gives rise mingle with other thoughts; look round upon it in intervals of reading; and not go to it as one goes to see the lions fed at a fair. The beautiful is not to be stared at, but to be …

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The fantastic show

“There are some shrubs that seem to scream, ‘Look at me!’ With their showy flowers…planting just one of these shrubs can light up the whole yard…azaleas are sure bets for a spectacular flower show…Their intensity makes one stop and take notice and perhaps feel compelled to give Mother Nature a round of applause for the fantastic …

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Have a picnic

“…if you have a place where you can go and have a picnic with your family, it  doesn’t matter if it’s a recession or not…” — Jim Fowler One of the best ways to make an ordinary day into a special occasion is to have a picnic.  It can be elaborate or simple fare, and …

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Start again

The birds they sang at the break of day Start again I heard them say — Leonard Cohen I can’t recall a single time when hearing the birds singing did not lift my spirits. Sometimes they sound cheerful and perky, sometimes insistent, almost alarmed, but they never sound depressing. Birdsong goes perfectly with the other …

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Solace in the seedlings

“…all of this time in the garden is stolen, snatched away from other priorities that clamor for attention before or after hours: family, meals, reading, household chores. This clamor is barely audible to the commuter gardener, though, for he has found his solace in the seedlings and flowers and fruits that come from the bits …

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Flowers have an expression

“Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men or animals.  Some seem to smile; some have a sad expression; some are pensive and diffident; others again are plain, honest and upright…”  — Henry Ward Beecher On a recent visit to the Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution, I was delighted to see the …

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Just enough intelligence

“As a human being, one has been endowed with just enough intelligence to be able to see clearly how utterly inadequate that intelligence is when confronted with what exists.”  — Albert Einstein Niagara Falls is one of those places that can’t be adequately described; one has to be there, hear the roar and feel the …

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Like life

“Do not watch the petals fall from the rose with sadness; know that, like life, things sometimes must fade before they can bloom again.” — Author unknown The cherry blossom trees of Washington DC are justly famous, but the ones I most enjoy are right outside the front door of our townhouse in Alexandria.  Until …

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Something is there

I go out to the pale dunes, to look over the empty spaces of the wilderness.   For something is there, something is there when nothing is there but itself, that is not there when anything else is.  —Mary Oliver There are places where vast emptiness stretches so far as to suggest infinity.  The more deserted …

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This most amazing day

“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.” — E. E. Cummings It’s a bit hard for me to imagine what it would be like living in a town …

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Poems by heart

“It is spring again.  The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” — Rainer Maria Rilke I don’t consider myself a poet, but I do like to write poetry as well as read it.  When writing poems I have to curtail the number of words I use so that every single one has an …

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Somewhere it hides

“What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery Tucked away in the chilly magnificence of the Yukon, there lies a true curiosity of nature: the Carcross Desert.  At about one square mile, it is called the “world’s smallest desert” although it is actually a series of sand dunes left …

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Represent civilization

“Be careful how you behave towards wild things – remember that, to them, you represent civilization.” —  Ashleigh Brilliant One of my favorite memories about my husband’s late father is the way he loved wildlife.  Many a summer’s evening I would be relaxing inside the Tennessee home where Jeff grew up, enjoying one of his …

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How happily we listen

“What can Spring say that other Springs have not already told us? And yet each year, how happily we listen!” — Joan Walsh Anglund Familiar yet always new, springtime lures us outdoors with warming sunshine, budding trees and bright blooms.  Whether your March  weather has been more like a lion or a lamb thus far, I …

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Every single day

“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.” — Jo Walton Have you ever been outside just as the sun was rising or setting, and thought to yourself that you should make it a point enjoy sunrise, or sunset, more often? So have I.  …

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