Quotes – page 4


 

“I bind unto myself today
The virtue of starlit heavens
The glorious sun’s life-giving rays
The whiteness of the moon at even
The flashing of the lightning free
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks
The stable earth, the deep salt sea
Around the old eternal rocks.”

– Old Irish Hymn in Saint Anne’s Church

 


 

 

“The misty dawns of late summer are as much a part of the season as are daisies and goldenrod. The mist fills the valleys and settles over the ponds and streams like smoke before sunrise, and with the dawn’s first light there is a curling and wreathing with mysterious little air currents playing tag.”

– Hal Borland (Twelve Moons of the Year).

 


 

 

“To see the world in a grain of sand
And heaven in a wildflower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.
He who binds himself to a joy
Does the winged life destroy:
He who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sunrise.”

– William Blake

 


 

 

“Poetry arrived in search of me.
I don’t know, I don’t know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don’t know how or when.”

– Pablo Neruda

 


 

 

“The creek recounts its life history, describing a grass blade it passed here, a pebble it washed there, keeping a journal of its travels in a contemplative murmuring. I sit writing, with my back against a boulder that still holds the warmth of the noon sun.”

– Ann Haymond Zwinger in The Nearsighted Naturalist, p. 161

 


 

 

“When frog speaks, he knows I am not a frog; that doesn’t bother him, doesn’t bother me. We talk anyway. The love of rain is enough for us.”

– Robert Sund from “The Frog I Saved from a Snake” in Poems from Ish River Country

 


 

 

“The advantages of studying bird behavior in your own yard, especially in studying nesting, are considerable…Behavior watching is cumulative. Once you get the knack of it, the more you see and reflect, the more apt you are to observe. And reading, creative reading of the kind that generates ideas and sparks enthusiasm, can be a great asset if you want to keep right on learning through old age.”

– Lawrence Kilham in On Watching Birds

 


 

 

“Each man deciphers from the ancient alphabets of nature only those secrets that his own deeps possess the power to endow with meaning.”

– Loren Eiseley in The Unexpected Universe

 


 

 

“Each man deciphers from the ancient alphabets of nature only those secrets that his own deeps possess the power to endow with meaning.”

– Loren Eiseley in The Unexpected Universe

 


 

 

“There can be no resting on past success or other victories. Conservation must be fought for without pause, unceasingly, like liberty itself.”

– Helen Cruikshank in Flight into Sunshine, 1948

 


 

 

“The earth turns, and the seasons, and for all his pride and power man cannot temper the winds or change their course. They are the unseen tides that shape our days and our years.”

– Hal Borland in Twelve Moons of the Year

 


 

“The earth turns, and the seasons, and for all his pride and power man cannot temper the winds or change their course. They are the unseen tides that shape our days and our years.”

– Hal Borland in Twelve Moons of the Year

 


 

 

“I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”

– John Muir

 


 

 

“The foundation of my writing and drawing is personal experience, my ‘being there,’ and what I have learned through having been there through so many epochs of my life…Moments outside of the human world in the shallows of a marsh, with red-winged blackbirds calling and the wind rustling in cattails or reedgrass, or a solitary spell at the edge of a swamp on the edge of winter–these will bring intimations of the spirit that moves with the water, the light, and the life of the marsh.”

– David M. Carroll in the Swampwalker’s Journal: A Wetlands Year, winner of the John Burroughs Award for 2001

 


 

 

“I am asked why I live in the green mountains:
I smile but reply not, for my heart is at rest.
The flowing waters carry the image of the peach blossoms far, far away:
There is an earth, there is a heaven, unknown to men.”

– Ritaihaku

 


 

 

“…where Basho is at his greatest is where he seems most insignificant, the neck of a firefly, hailstones in the sun, the chirp of an insect, muddy melons, leeks, a dead leaf,—these are full of interest, meaning, value, that is, poetry, but not as symbols of the Infinite, not as types of Eternity, but in themselves. ”

– R.H. Blyth

 


 

 

“Everything in Nature contains all the powers of Nature. Everything is made of one hidden stuff.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

 


 

 

“A poet is the most unpoetical thing in existence,–because he has no identity. The setting sun will always set me to rights, and if a sparrow come before my window, I take part in its existence and peck about the gravel.”

– John Keats

 


 

 

“Flower in the crannied wall,
I pluck you out of the crannies:
Hold you here, root and all, in my hand,
Little flower–but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is.”

– Alfred Lord Tennyson

 


 

 

“He who is drawn to something desirable does not desire to have it as a thought but as a thing.”

– Thomas Aquinas

 


 

 

“At one time, one blade of grass is as effective as a sixteen foot golden statue of Buddha. At another time, a sixteen foot golden statue of Buddha is as effective as a blade of grass.”

– the Hekiganroku

 


 

 

“The roaring of lions, the howling of wolves, the raging of the stormy sea, and the destructive sword, are portions of eternity too great for the eye of man.”

– William Blake

 


 

 

“Perhaps, after all, our best thoughts come when we are alone. It is good to listen, not to voices but to the wind blowing, to the brook running cool over polished stones, to bees drowsy with the weight of pollen. If we attend to the music of the earth, we reach serenity. And then, in some unexplained way, we share it with others.”

– Gladys Taber

 


 

 

“There are winter mornings when the cold without only adds to the cold within, and the more it snows and the more it blows, brighter the fires blaze. ”

– Emily Dickinson

 


 

 

“Sometimes the best teacher teaches only once to a single child or to a grownup past hope. ”

– Anonymous in Loren Eiseley’s The Unexpected Universe

 


 

 

“Indeed, if “biology is chemistry with history,” as somebody has said, then nature writing is biology with love.”

– Edward Hoagland in Tigers and Ice

 


 

 

“It is no use trying to improve on children’s names for wildflowers.”

– Mary Austin in Land of Little Rain

 


 

 

“The sun isn’t your friend. It didn’t laugh at that stupid little joke. But when the business failed, when your beauty failed, when you should have gone home but spent the night, the sun kept shining.”

– Sy Safransky in The Sun, Dec. 1995

 


 

 

“The sun isn’t your friend. It didn’t laugh at that stupid little joke. But when the business failed, when your beauty failed, when you should have gone home but spent the night, the sun kept shining.”

– Sy Safransky in The Sun, Dec. 1995

 


 

 

“A pale moon. Sadness. But this is tonight’s meal, so eat. The Father of Days wants me to taste it all and, when the moon disappears, to eat darkness, eat it all night..”

– Sy Safransky in The Sun, Dec. 1995

 


 

 

“How important to set aside time each day for the unknowable. How important to reach out: it doesn’t matter that I don’t yet believe.”

– Sy Safransky in The Sun, Dec. 1995

 


 

 

“Spring comes: the flowers learn their colored shapes”

– Maria Konopnicka

 


 

 

“A naturalist’s work involves a weaving of insight gleaned from direct experience with the gift of lore handed us in books and journals by our predecessors.”

– Thomas Lowe Fleischner in The Singing Stone: A Natural History of the Escalante Canyons

 


 

 

“The cultural task of America today is the creating of a soul that can dare to live in natural integration with the new body that technology is creating.”

– Joseph K. Hart in Education for an Age of Power, 1954

 


 

 

“The problem today is that there are no deserts, only dude ranches. ”

– Thomas Merton