“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.”
― John Lubbock
“The poetry of the earth is never dead.”
― John Keats
“Not just beautiful, though--the stars are like the trees in the forest, alive and breathing. And they're watching me.”
― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
“And then there are the times when the wolves are silent and the moon is howling.”
― George Carlin
“Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and it's beauty.”
― Albert Einstein
“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 roars:
I love not man the less, but Nature more...”
― George Gordon Byron
“The earth has music for those who listen.”
― George Santayana
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
― Albert Einstein
“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
call to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”
― Mary Oliver
“Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.”
― Robert Frost
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
― Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
“We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us; and it is in the unclouded night-sky, where His worlds wheel their silent course, that we read clearest His infinitude, His omnipotence, His omnipresence.”
― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“We need the tonic of wildness...At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods
“Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success, and love; it will all come back to you in abundance. This is the law of nature.”
― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace
As i have seen in one autumnal face.”
― John Donne
“The sunlight claps the earth, and the moonbeams kiss the sea: what are all these kissings worth, if thou kiss not me?”
― Percy Bysshe Shelley
“I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art that anybody could ever want.”
― Andy Warhol
The planets are the white whales
And the sun and all light
Into my heart and upon
a crescent moon
in the middle of a field
the moon passes quickly
The most effective way to save the threatened and decimated natural world is to cause people to fall in love with it again, with its beauty and its reality. –Peter Scott, to Roger Deakin
In God’s wildness lies the hope of the world—the great fresh unblighted, unredeemed wilderness. –John Muir, Our National Parks
If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer; but if he spends his whole day as a spectator, shearing off those woods and making earth bald before her time, he is esteemed an industrious and enterprising citizen. As if the town had no interest in its forests but to cut them down! –Henry David Thoreau, “Life without Principle”
We need the tonic of wildness. … At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be infinitely wild, unsurveyed, and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature. –Henry David Thoreau, Walden
I love nature, I love the landscape, because it is so sincere. It never cheats me. It never jests. It is cheerfully, musically earnest. I lie and relie on the earth. –Henry David Thoreau, journal, November 16, 1850
Almost the only lights visible in the night sky in southern England are those of police helicopters and passenger jets stacked for Stansted, Heathrow, and Gatwick. I doubt if the Milky Way has been visible to Londoners since the blackout during the Second World War. What kind of a place is that to live? Of what use the intellectual delights of libraries, cinemas, galleries, and concert halls if one’s whole sensory apparatus is dulled and occluded, one’s pores irretrievably blocked? Tonight, it is true, I can’t actually sit out on my terrace because it is too chilly. But when I turn off the kitchen lights and sit by the window I can see a canopy of stars despite the ever-growing puddle of lights far below spreading to blur Camaiore into Viareggio. And I need only step outside the door to hear the night breeze finding its way through the grasses and the leaves letting go autumn’s branches. For reasons I can’t explain, such things are important to see and hear; and not just once (seen that, heard that) but as a daily constant, as necessary as my pulse. –James Hamilton-Paterson, Amazing Disgrace
The sky is a net crammed with shadowy fish.
In old age mountains
Stitched with silver-white
Communion with nature offered me rare moments of awe and ecstasy. –Margaret Wettlin, Fifty Russian Winters
Come out of the azure. Love the day. Do not leave the sky out of your landscape. –Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Conduct of Life
Nature turns all malfaisance to good. –ditto
The whole of nature was strangely alive. There was a small puddle covered with a film of ice, dead grass; there was earth around it and a spring gushing down into a ditch. He felt these were bodily fluids, that the whole earth was like an old, sick carcass. At the beginning of time the earth had been healthy. For a while this comforted him, but then another thought struck: But it tore itself asunder with earthquakes. Lightning set fire to the land! Nature is no friend to man; it is the easiest thing in the world to freeze to death. There is no safety anywhere. –Ólafur Gunnarsson, Trolls’ Cathedral
I’m not imagining it when I say that looking up at the sky, the clouds, the moon, and the stars makes me feel calm and hopeful. It’s better medicine than either valerian or bromide; nature makes me feel humble and ready to take each blow with courage. –Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank
The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely, or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature ... Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be ... amidst the simple beauty of nature. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles. –ditto
Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature—the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter. –Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder
Never does Nature say one thing and Wisdom another. –Juvenal, Satires
Everything in Nature contains all the powers of Nature. Everything is made of one hidden stuff. –Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays: First Series
The sky is the daily bread of the eyes. –Ralph Waldo Emerson, journal, May 25, 1843
We must go out and re-ally ourselves to Nature every day. We must take root, send out some little fiber at least, even every winter day. –Henry David Thoreau, Journal: Winter
Drive out nature with a pitchfork, and she will always come back. –Horace, Epistles 1.10.24
The volume of nature is the book of knowledge. –Oliver Goldsmith, The Citizen of the World
The goal of life is living in agreement with Nature. –Zeno the Stoic, quoted in Diogenes Laertius’s Lives of Eminent Philosophers
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous. –Aristotle, On the Parts of Animals
Wilderness can be a means of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope. –Wallace Stegner, The Sound of Mountain Water
As a husband embraces his wife’s body in faithful tenderness, so the bare ground and trees are embraced by the still, high, light of the morning. I feel an ache of longing to share in this embrace, to be united and absorbed. A longing like carnal desire, but directed towards earth, water, sky, and returned by the whispers of the trees, the fragrance of the soil, the caresses of the wind, the embrace of water and light. Content? No, no, no—but refreshed, rested—while waiting. –Dag Hammarskjold
Must we always teach our children with books? Let them look at the stars and the mountains above. Let them look at the waters and the trees and flowers on Earth. Then they will begin to think, and to think is the beginning of a real education. –David Polis
Earth knows no desolation. She smells regeneration in the moist breath of decay. –George Meredith, The Spirit of Earth in Autumn
Sometimes I get lonesome for a storm. A fullblown storm where everything changes. –Joan Baez
I could be converted to a religion of grass. Sleep the winter away and rise headlong each spring. Sink deep roots. Conserve water. Respect and nourish your neighbors and never let trees gain the upper hand. Such are the tenets and dogmas. As for practice—grow lush in order to be devoured or caressed, stiffen in sweet elegance, invent startling seeds—those also make sense. Bow beneath the arm of fire. Connect underground. Provide. Provide. Be lovely and do no harm. –Louise Erdrich, “Big Grass,” from Heart of the Land
We should be clear about what happens when we destroy the living forms of this planet. The first consequence is that we destroy modes of divine presence. If we have a wonderful sense of the divine, it is because we live amid such awesome magnificence. –Thomas Berry, The Dream of the Earth
... the blood-rhythms of wilderness which remain in us (as the old seas and oceans remain in us) are declaring, in response to the increasing instability of the outside forces that are working against us, the need for reconnection to rhythms that are stable and natural. And no matter whether those rhythms are found in a city, or in a garden, or in a relationship, or in the wilderness—it is the need and desire for them that we are recognizing and searching for, and I can feel it, the notion that settling-in and stand-making is the way to achieve or rediscover these rhythms. I can sense a turning-away from the idea, once pulsing in our own blood, that drifting or running is the answer, perhaps because the rhythms we need are becoming so hard to find, out in the fragmented worlds of both nature and man. We can find these rhythms within ourselves. –Rick Bass, The Book of Yaak
Purely human life provides only a partial fulfillment of this desire for a kind of immortality. As individuals, we can feel desperately alone: we may not have children, or we may not care much for how they have turned out; we may not care to trace ourselves back through our parents; some of us may even be general misanthropes, or feel that our lives are unimportant, brief, and hurried rushes toward a final emptiness. But the earth in all its processes—the sun growing plants, flesh feeding on these plants, flesh decaying to nourish more plants, to name just one cycle—gives us some sense of a more enduring role. –Bill McKibben, The End of Nature
Nature is the great emptiness, the source out of which our culture and all its flowering comes, and in order not to lose sight of this, not to become orphans lost in the minutiae of our daily lives and, like the rich man’s son starving outside his father’s gate, to forget who we are, it is vital that wildness be preserved for its own sake, which is to say, for our sake. –Dan Gerber, “Walking in Tierra del Fuego,” from Sacred Trusts
By such a river it is impossible to believe that one will ever be tired or old. Every sense applauds it. Taste it, feel its chill on the teeth: it is purity absolute. –Wallace Stegner, The Sound of Mountain Water
Whatever the reason, I’ve found solace in living by water. Solace and a sense of humor restored. … Water, contrary to even our West’s labyrinthian water laws, cannot be truly claimed. It’s too malleable. Water may reflect us, mirror our deepest selves, but it won’t bear our imprint, our scars. We can in a sense wound it through pollution and our contempt, but more often than not it will wash away those wounds over time. Water leaves no trace of us, though over eons it has left its own mark in the whorls of canyon stone, wide-wandering tributaries, glacial melt. More than volcanic fire and wind, earth is sculpted by water. Perhaps, then, it is from water we can at last learn how to shape ourselves in its image. –Brenda Peterson, Living by Water
Nature is the harmless and kind beloved of those who have been disillusioned by other beloveds. –Muhammad Hijazi, Hazar Sokhan
Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day’s work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain. –Frank Lloyd Wright
Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you. –ditto
Just think of all the spare time that has flown
I inhale the scent of lavender and santolina, stir to the touch of branches and leaves caressing the insides of my arms and elbows, finding erogenous zones no man ever discovered. I drink quarts of water as I grow thirsty, feel my hair curl in the humid air, not caring whether twigs or mud perch within. I revel in the squish of mud between my toes as I work the soil barefooted, feel my muscles loosen, my skin grow hot and flushed and languid. My garden is my empty canvas, my yoga mat, my suntan booth, my weight room, and my marathon route. It’s my soul restorer, my mud bath, my lover. In its earthy embrace, I plan my life—deciding what to pursue, what to ignore. It tests my memory, hones my fitness, enhances my endurance, strengthens my resolve. In my garden, I feel the sun on my face and lift my head to the sky in gratitude for the abundance of my life. –Margaret Russo
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
I come to my solitary woodland walk as the homesick go home. –Henry David Thoreau
I identify with nature and all of life very deeply, so I can just lose myself to the surroundings. Every little insect, and every quiver of a leaf matters to me. –Rosalyn Tureck
The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness. –John Muir, John of the Mountains
Perhaps nature is our best assurance of immortality. –Eleanor Roosevelt
Each flower is a soul opening out to nature. –Gérard de Nerval, Vers Dorés
My heart leaps up when I behold
The sea never changes and its works, for all the talk of men, are wrapped in mystery. –Joseph Conrad, Typhoon
Ah yes, the sea is always good. There is nothing I can look at for very long, except the sea. –Haggard, in The Last Unicorn
For all at last returns to the sea. –Rachel Carson, The Sea around Us
Learn about pines from the pine, and about bamboo from the
When the last leave falls,
You ask me why I dwell in the green mountain;
All animals, plants, and landscapes are sacred. –Larry Gates
Respect the old and cherish the young. Even insects, grass, and trees you must not hurt. –Ko Hung
Everything in the world has a hidden meaning…
Do not overlook the truth that is right before you. Study how water flows in a valley stream, smoothly and freely between the rocks. Also learn from holy books and wise people. Everything—even mountains, rivers, plants, and trees—should be your teacher. –Morihei Ueshiba
To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter...to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring—these are some of the rewards of the simple life. –John Burroughs
I have come to terms with the future. From this day onward I will walk easy on the earth. Plant trees. Kill no living things. Live in harmony with all creatures. I will restore the earth where I am. Use no more of its resources than I need. And listen, listen to what it is telling me. –MJ Slim Hooey
Everything passes away—suffering, pain, blood, hunger, pestilence. The sword will pass away too, but the stars will still remain when the shadows of our presence and our deeds have vanished from the earth. There is no man who does not know that. Why, then, will we not turn our eyes toward the stars? Why? –Mikhail Bulgakov, The White Guard
A garden isn’t meant to be useful. It’s for joy. –Rumer Godden
The day, water, sun, moon, night...I do not have to purchase these things with money. –Plautus
Like a great poet, Nature knows how to produce the greatest effects with the most limited means. –Heinrich Heine
The many great gardens of the world, of literature and poetry, of painting and music, of religion and architecture, all make the point as clear as possible: The soul cannot thrive in the absence of a garden. If you don’t want paradise, you are not human; and if you are not human, you don’t have a soul. –Thomas Moore, The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life
I did however used to think, you know, in the woods walking, and as a kid playing in the woods, that there was a kind of imminence there—[the] woods…had a sense, a kind of presence, that you could feel; that there was something peculiarly, physically present, a feeling of place almost conscious...like God. It evoked that. –Robert Creely, Robert Creely and the Genius of the American Common Place
Natural objects themselves, even when they make no claim to beauty, excite the feelings, and occupy the imagination. Nature pleases, attracts, delights, merely because it is nature. We recognize in it an Infinite Power. –Karl Wilhelm Humboldt
In all things of nature there is something marvelous. –Aristotle
A person who cares about the earth will resonate with its purity. –Sally Fox
When I get a craving for Nature, I turn on the Discovery Channel and watch bear-attack survivors recount their horror and show us the results of their reconstructive surgery. –Augusten Burroughs, Magical Thinking
Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive, and even spiritual satisfaction. –Edward O. Wilson
The land is a mother that never dies. –Maori saying
Man’s heart away from nature becomes hard. –Standing Bear
Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars... and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is joyful. Everything is simply happy. Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will never have any bank balance. Look at the flowers—for no reason. It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are. –Osho
The poetry of the earth is never dead. –John Keats
I remember a hundred lovely lakes, and recall the fragrant breath of pine and fir and cedar and poplar trees. The trail has strung upon it, as upon a thread of silk, opalescent dawns and saffron sunsets. It has given me blessed release from care and worry and the troubled thinking of our modern day. It has been a return to the primitive and the peaceful. Whenever the pressure of our complex city life thins my blood and benumbs my brain, I seek relief in the trail; and when I hear the coyote wailing to the yellow dawn, my cares fall from me—I am happy. –Hamlin Garland, McClure’s, February 1899
Never does nature say one thing and wisdom another. –Juvenal, Satires
You can’t be suspicious of a tree, or accuse a bird or a squirrel of subversion or challenge the ideology of a violet. –Hal Borland, Sundial of the Seasons
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. –Lao Tzu
It is only in the country that we can get to know a person or a book. –Cyril Connolly, The Unquiet Grave
To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug. –Helen Keller
Shall I not have intelligence with the earth? Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself? –Henry David Thoreau
One touch of nature makes the whole world kin. –William Shakespeare
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. –Albert Einstein
I’ve always regarded nature as the clothing of God. –Alan Hovhaness
What would the world be, once bereft
There is nothing in the world more peaceful than apple-leaves with an early moon. –Alice Meynell
A lawn is nature under totalitarian rule. –Michael Pollan, Second Nature
I am not a lover of lawns. Rather would I see daisies in their thousands, ground ivy, hawkweed, and even the hated plantain with tall stems, and dandelions with splendid flowers and fairy down, than the too-well-tended lawn. –WH Hudson, The Book of a Naturalist
I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order. –John Burroughs
The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful. –ee cummings
In some mysterious way woods have never seemed to me to be static things. In physical terms, I move through them; yet in metaphysical ones, they seem to move through me. –John Fowles
Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity ... –Henry David Thoreau, journal, January 5, 1856
Once you have heard the lark, known the swish of feet through hill-top grass and smelt the earth made ready for the seed, you are never again going to be fully happy about the cities and towns that man carries like a crippling weight upon his back. –Gwyn Thomas
The mountains are fountains of men as well as of rivers, of glaciers, and of fertile soil. The great poets, philosophers, prophets, able men whose thoughts and deeds have moved the world, have come down from the mountains. –John Muir, John of the Mountains
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. –John Muir, Our National Parks
I prefer to their dogma my excursions into the natural gardens where the voice of the Great Spirit is heard in the twittering of birds, the rippling of mighty waters, and the sweet breathing of flowers. If this is Paganism, then at present, at least, I am a Pagan. –Zitkala-Sa
Nature teaches more than she preaches. There are no sermons in stones. It is easier to get a spark out of a stone than a moral. –John Burroughs
If the earth were only a few feet in diameter floating a few feet above a field somewhere, people would come from everywhere to marvel at it. People would walk around it marveling at its big pools of water, its little pools, and the water flowing between the pools. People would marvel at the bumps on it, and the holes in it, and they would marvel at the very thin layer of gas surrounding it and the water suspended in the gas. The people would marvel at all the creatures walking around the surface of the ball and at the creatures in the water. The people would declare it sacred because it was the only one, and they would protect it so that it would not be hurt. The ball would be the greatest wonder known, and people would come to pray to it, to be healed, to gain knowledge, to know beauty, and to wonder how it could be. People would love it and defend it with their lives because they would somehow know that their lives, their own roundness, could be nothing without it. If the Earth were only a few feet in diameter. –Joe Miller
After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on—have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear—what remains? Nature remains. –Walt Whitman, Specimen Days
Whenever I have found myself stuck in the ways I relate to things, I return to nature. It is my principal teacher, and I try to open my whole being to what it has to say. –Wynn Bullock
A man is a very small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders. –Lord Dunsany, The Laughter of the Gods
For there are some people who can live without wild things about them and the earth beneath their feet, and some who cannot. To those of us who, in a city, are always aware of the abused and abased earth below the pavement, walking on grass, watching the flight of birds, or finding the first spring dandelion are rights as old and unalienable as the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We belong to no cult. We are not Nature Lovers. We don’t love nature any more than we love breathing. Nature is simply something indispensable, like air and light and water, that we accept as necessary to living, and the nearer we can get to it the happier we are. –Louise Dickenson Rich
...where Bashô 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. –RH Blyth
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and places to pray in, where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul. –John Muir, The Yosemite
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
The Amazon is still burning; we just don’t hear the smoke detectors anymore. –Larry Gelbart, on environmentalism apathy
Wilderness begins in the human mind. –(?)
Follow the wisdom provided by nature. Everything in moderation—sunlight, water, nutrients. Too much of a good thing will topple your structure. You can’t harvest what you don’t sow. So plant your desires, gently nurture them, and they will be rewarded with abundance. –Vivian Elisabeth Glyck
And nature doesn’t mean out-of-doors, you know—nature doesn’t mean horses and cows and streams and storms only—that’s only one little element. Nature means the essential significant life of the thing, whatever the thing is. That thumb of mine, what’s the nature of the thumb? Why is this nail on the thumb? It’s the why, the questioning concerned with the very life and character of whatever is, that is the study of nature. –Frank Lloyd Wright
Add: None of Nature’s landscapes are ugly so long as they are wild. –John Muir, Our National Parks
Add: I used to envy the father of our race, dwelling as he did in contact with the new-made fields and plants of Eden; but I do so no more, because I have discovered that I also live in “creation’s dawn.” The morning stars still sing together, and the world, not yet half made, becomes more beautiful every day. –John Muir, John of the Mountains
Add: Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter. –John Muir, in a letter to his wife Louie, July 1888
Add: Hiking—I don’t like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains—not hike! Do you know the origin of that word “saunter”? It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, “A la sainte terre,” “To the Holy Land.” And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not “hike” through them. –John Muir, quoted in Albert Palmer’s A Parable of Sauntering
Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life. –John Muir
Keep close to Nature’s heart ... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.–ditto
Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life. –ditto
What is beautiful ...
Sometimes awful things have their own kind of beauty. –Jon Kortajarena, in A Single Man
The world is full of ugly things that exist along side what we find beautiful, and the two are one and same. –Bill Zeller, in an online OCD message board
A beautiful thing is never perfect. –Egyptian proverb
What is heartbreaking is that there is still beauty in the world. –Debra Dean, The Madonnas of Leningrad
Beauty isn’t a special inserted sort of thing. It is just life, pure life, life nascent, running clear and strong. –HG Wells, quoted in Michael Foot’s The History of Mr. Wells
The world will be saved by beauty. –Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot
There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us. –Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Conduct of Life
In my best possible world, ugliness would be in museums, and everything out the world, on the street, would be beautiful. –Joel-Peter Witkin
Everything has beauty but not everyone sees it. –Confucius
… beauty is beauty, whether you’re coloring inside the lines or not. –Brian Strause, Maybe a Miracle
If you stare at anything long enough, it breaks down—beauty turns ugly, ugliness becomes beautiful. I bet if you put a cancer cell under a microscope, then blew it up and put it on a wall in the Museum of Modern Art, people would look at it and say how beautiful it is. –ditto
The sky is taking on light,
I believe the world is incomprehensibly beautiful—an endless prospect of magic and wonder. –Ansel Adams, commencement address, Occidental College, June 1961
Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. –Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Beauty”
Beauty is ten, nine of which is dressing. –Azerbaijani proverb
Anyone who sees beauty and does not look at it will soon be poor. –Beninese proverb
For what strikes us as beauty is nothing
Definitions of beauty:
But I suspect, some days, that beauty helps protect the spirit of mankind, swaddle it and succor it, so that we might survive. Beauty is no end in itself, but if it makes our lives less miserable so that we might be more kind—well, then, let’s have beauty, painted on our porcelain, hanging on our walls, ringing through our stories. We are a sorry tribe of beasts. We need all the help we can get. –Gregory Maguire, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
…Beauty is an equilibrium of antagonistic impulses, a Dionysian impulse held in balance by Apollonian form. That’s the difference between prettiness and beauty; between, say, Ginger Rogers and Greta Garbo. Rogers was merely very pretty, there was no balance of opposites there, whereas Garbo’s aura alluded to a tempest of opposite impulses—fire and ice, mystery and lucidity, passion and control. –Francine du Plessix Gray
At times of crisis and risk, we need beauty and art and music more than ever… Beauty consoles and quickens; it offers a sense of plenitude and gratitude, makes us feel more protective of the world and its treasures. That’s what we urgently need in times of pain. –ditto
Knowing this to be a worthless life,
When you call me close
The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes. If you foolishly ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it. Your life will be impoverished. But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life. –Frank Lloyd Wright
Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy. –Anne Frank, Diary of a Young Girl
[The Canal] was moveless yet completely alive in this harshly puritanical winterlight; it had its own unique and difficult beauty. –Stephen King, It
It strikes me as blasphemous not to embrace life, but to embrace it in dark times, I have to find the beauty concealed in the tragic, beauty which in fact is always there, and which for me is discovered through humor. –Dean Koontz, Seize the Night
We who see the shape of the world by its shadow must look for beauty there. –from some website
It filled me with wonder, and stirred something deep and primal inside me. I feared the danger of that kind of beauty, beauty that made me so quiet and unable to move. –Linda Katherine Cutting, Memory Slips
There is a certain beauty in poverty, loss, and desolation. There is a certain strength and grandeur in suffering. Grays, storms, ruins, age, are powerful subjects for a painting. Even a dump heap can evoke admiration. –Hugh Prather, Notes to Myself
That which I have dreamed is always very far from that which I am able to hold fast and write down on paper. An artist seems to me to be a man who looks at beauty through a pair of glasses which, as he breathes, becomes clouded over and veils the beauty he sees. He takes his handkerchief. He cleans his glasses. He sees clearly again. But at the first breath the absolute beauty disappears. It is only the veil, the approximation, that we can perceive. –Giacomo Puccini
The more nature comes to life, the brighter the sun, the greener it gets, the more depressed one feels. Spring has awakened frozen human emotions and has cruelly reminded us of our private grief. –Anna Ivanovna Likhacheva, journal, June 7, 1942
Springtime—when ecstasy seems the natural way to be and any other out of tune with the season of soul growth. Song, airy silence, a lively conversation between plants. No urgency about what gets said or not said. –Coleman Barks, in the introduction to Chapter 4 of The Essential Rumi
Again, the season of Spring has come
Spring makes everything look filthy. –Katherine Whitehorn
Poets and songwriters speak highly of spring as one of the great joys of life in the temperate zone, but in the real world most of spring is disappointing. We looked forward to it too long, and the spring we had in mind in February was warmer and dryer than the actual spring when it finally arrives. We’d expected it to be a whole season, like winter, instead of a handful of separate moments and single afternoons. –Barbara Holland, Endangered Pleasures
Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night. –Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke
Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush. –Doug Larson
Science has never drummed up quite as effective a tranquilizing agent as a sunny spring day. –W. Earl Hall
Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world. –Virgil A. Kraft
In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. –Margaret Atwood, Bluebeard’s Egg
It is the thirtieth of May,
With a click and a whir of grasshopper wings, summer breaks into song. These are the days of reckless clouds and untamed sunlight, when hooky is the only game in town. Run away to nowhere special with someone who makes you feel brave and pretty. Roll down the window, and let the wind make a mess of your hair. Summer flies by in an instant. Breathe it in. –from Martha Stewart Living
Low and guttural,
I walk without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer. My bank of wild grass is majestic and full of music. It is a fire that solitude presses against my lips. –Violette Leduc, Mad in Pursuit
Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. –Henry James
Summer is the time when one sheds one’s tensions with one’s clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all’s right with the world. –Ada Louise Huxtable
Autumn rain, autumn wind, they make one die of sorrow. –Qiu Jin, Qiu Jin ji
in everyone’s mouth
the color of wind
not yet dead
I saw old autumn in the misty morn
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. –John Keats, “To Autumn”
Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. –George Eliot
No Spring nor Summer Beauty hath such grace
October’s poplars are flaming torches lighting the way to winter. –Nova Bair
Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn. –Elizabeth Lawrence
November, n. The eleventh twelfth of a weariness. –Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary
The sun is a dim and flickering bulb that gets switched on at eight and off again at four. It’s too weak anymore to scatter the night’s shadows; they settle in and take root—under the trees, beneath the surface of a silent lake. The earth breathes in these cool, numbing vapors; it yaws once and then nods off as winter comes on. –Martha Stewart Living
I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape—the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. –Andrew Wyeth, quoted in Richard Meryman’s The Art of Andrew Wyeth
Winter teaches us about detachment, numbness
There is a privacy about [winter] which no other season gives you… Only in winter … can you have longer, quite stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself. –Ruth Stout, How to Have a Green Thumb without an Aching Back
Go to the winter woods: listen there, look, watch, and “the dead months” will give you a subtler secret than any you have yet found in the forest. –Fiona Macleod, Where the Forest Murmurs
To appreciate it [winter], you must wait for it a long time, hope and dream about it, and go through considerable enduring. –Sigurd F. Olson, The Singing Wilderness
Leaves like rusty tin
I have waited for this winter as no winter
Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour. –John Boswell
There is nothing in the world more beautiful than the forest clothed to its very hollows in snow. It is the still ecstasy of nature, wherein every spray, every blade of grass, every spire of reed, every intricacy of twig, is clad with radiance. –William Sharp
Winter is the time for comfort ... it is the time for home. –Dame Edith Sitwell
For all practical purposes nature is at a standstill...there is a wonderful joy in leaving behind the noisy city streets and starting out along the white road that leads across the hills. With each breath of the sharp, reviving air one seems to inhale new life. A peace as evident as the sunshine on the fields takes possession of one's inner being. The trivial cares which fretted like a swarm of mosquitoes are driven away by the first sweep of wind that comes straight from the mountains. ...The intense silence that broods over the snow-bound land is a conscious blessing. The deep blue of the sky and the purple shadows cast by the trees and plants are a feast to the eye. The crunch of the snow-rind beneath our feet and the varied hum of the telegraph wires overhead are music to our ears. –Frances Theodora Parsons
Winter dawn is the color of metal,
We stand watching the yellow leaves go queer,
Winter north of the Arctic Circle is a chilly confluence of strange bluish light and encroaching melancholy. –Yahoo Travel, on Finland
How winter fills my soul! –Sylvia Plath, “Three Women”
That was the black winter when I came into my own. –Anthony Hecht, “Tarantula, or The Dance of Death”
In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer. –Albert Camus
The seasons…are authentic; there is no mistake about them, they are what a symphony ought to be: four perfect movements in intimate harmony with one another. –Arthur Rubinstein, My Young Years
There are seasons of the heart. There are seasons in our lives, just as there are seasons to all of nature. These seasons cannot be forced any more than one can force the coming of spring by pulling at tender blades of grass to make them grow. It took me a while to understand. –(?), “When the Telephone Rang”
of colors of equal whiteness that will seem most dazzling is on the darkest background, and black will seem most intense when it is against a background of greater brightness.
Red also will seem most vivid when against a yellow background and so in the manner with all the colors when set against those present the sharpest contrast.
The more white a thing is the more it will be tinged with the color of the illuminated object or luminous object.
But in the distance that object will show its most blue which is darkest in color.
Every object that has no color in itself is tinged either entirely or in part by the color set opposite it. This may be seen by experience, for every object which serves as a mirror is tinged with the color of the thing that is reflected in it. And if the object which is tinged is white, the portion of it that is illuminated by red will appear red and so with every other color whether it be light or dark.
The variation in the colors of the object at a great distance can only be discerned in those portions which are smitten by solar rays.
As regards the colors of bodies there in difference at a great distance in the parts which are in shadow.
But if the colors happen to be in the luminous space they will show themselves of greater beauty in proportion as the luminosity is more intense.
The varity of colors of shadows are as numerous as the varieties in color of the objects which are in shadows.
So therfore at a long distance all the shadows of different colors appear of the same darkness.
Of the bodies clad in light and shade it is the illuminated part which reveals the true color.
No white or black is transparent since white is not a color but it is capable of becoming the receipient of every color, when the white object is in open air all its shadows are blue, opaque body partakes of the color of surroundings.
Object in light and shade: in light will take color of sun and atmosphere and in shade only color of the atmosphere.
All if this white object should neither reflect the green of the fields which stretch out to the horizon nor yet face the brightness of the horizon itself, it would undoubtedly appear of such simple color as the atmosphere showed it to be.
The accidental colors of the leaves of tres are four, namely shadow, light, luster and transparency.
The color of the object illuminated partakes of the color that illuminates it.
Of the vaious colours other than blue, that which at a great distance will resemble blue most closely will be that which is nearest to black; and so conversely the colour which least resembles black will be the one which at a great distance will most retain its natural color.
According, to the green in landscapes will become more changed into blue then will the yellow or the white, will undergo less change than green, and the red still less.
The image imprinted in a mirror partakes of the color of the said color.
The density of smoke from the horizon downwards is white and from the horizon upwards it is dark; and although the smoke is in itself of the same color.
As flame extends it becomes yellow in its upper part, then safron in color, and this ends in smoke.
In the morning the mist is denser above than below, because the sun draws it upwards; hence tall buildings, even if the summit is at the same distance as the base have the summit invisible. Therefore, also, the sky looks darkest [in colour] overhead, and towards the horizon it is not blue but rather between smoke and dust colour.
The atmosphere, when full of mist, is quite devoid of blueness, and only appears of the colour of clouds, which shine white when the weather is fine. And the more you turn to the west the darker it will be, and the brighter as you look to the east. And the verdure of the fields is bluish in a thin mist, but grows grey in a dense one.
The surface of every opaque body prticipates in the color of its object.
In proportions as this surface is whiter, and the color of the object more luminous or illuminated dark object will appear more blue.
Whether the colors of rainbow
There are many birds in the various regions of the bird in whose feathers most radiant colors are seen produced in their different movements.
Redness of Sun
And the clouds are of dark purple
Flames of Fire
Illumination by Sun
of the rainbow
the cloud will be surrounded by a ruddy splendour
Clouds interposed between the earth and sun, wherefore being in west it grew red, and with its ruddy glow lit as with a haze all the things visible ot it.
Clouds has a dim haze of rose-flushed, grows darker, rose-flushed hue
Illuminated by the brightness of the sky
winter mountain blue
deeper blue in color
tree without leaves will look grey
tree with leaves they are green
and in proportion as the green is darker than the grey, the green will appear a more intense blue than the grey
The defination of the blue colors of the atmosphere supplies the reason why landscapes are a deeper shade of blue in summer than winter
eye of the observer and same dark space will appear blue
so the atmosphere appears blue because of the darkness which is beyond it
looks like smoke bluest from the driest wood
the blue flame is of spherical shape
The same is true of the atmosphere with excessive moisture renders white while little moisture acted upon it by heat causes it to be black and of a dark blue color; and this is sufficient as regards the defination of the color of atmosphere, although one may also say that if atmosphere had transparent blue as its natural color, it would follow wherever a greater quantity of atmosphere came between the eye and the fiery element, it would appear a deeper shade of blue, as is seen with blue glass, and with sapphires, which appear dark in proportion as they are thicker.
The atmosphere acquires its blueness from the particles of moisture which catch the luminous rays of sun.
Atoms of dust and those of smoke - thin smoke - seems of a most beautiful blue.
it is proven that yellow and blue mixed together make a very beautiful green.
Upon how reflected color is simple but is mixed with the species of other colors
On making the colors in your objects vivid and beautiful
The appearance of a color can to a certain extent be modified without directly acting on it with any actual material mixture.
When two surfaces of different color are juxtaposed their adjacent edges are mutually tinged with the complementary of each color. And this occurs by virtue of what we have just ascertained in the previous experiment, namely: that the edges of yellow turned blue-violet. At times, when the colors are still wet, not only the edges, but even the entire surface of each color may be altered.
Forichon, La Couleur
On making the colors in your paintings vivid and beautiful
Which part of the color must reasonably be more beautiful
Upon how reflected color is simple but is mixed with the species of other colors
And red will look most vivid against the yellowest background
Every portion of the surface of a body is varied [in hue] by the [reflected] colour of the object that may be opposite to it.
Every form projects images from itself by the shortest line, which necessarily is a straight line
The intersections of the images as they enter the pupil do not mingle in confusion in the space where that intersection unites them; as is evident, since, if the rays of the sun pass through two panes of glass in close contact, of which one is blue and the other yellow, the rays, in penetrating them, do not become blue or yellow but a beautiful green. And the same thing would happen in the eye, if the images which were yellow or green should mingle where they [meet and] intersect as they enter the pupil. As this does not happen such a mingling does not exist.
The colour of derived shadows is always affected by that of the body towards which they are cast. To prove this: let an opaque body be placed between the plane and the blue light and the red light, then I say that, the blue light, will fall on the whole surface excepting at which is covered by the shadow of the body, as is shown by the straight lines. And the same occurs with the light which falls on the whole surface excepting at the spot obscured by the shadow; as is shown by the lines. Hence we may conclude that the shadow is exposed to the blue light; but, as the red light cannot fall there, will appear as a blue shadow on a red background tinted with blue, because on the surface both lights can fall. But in the shadows only one single light falls; for this reason these shadows are of medium depth, since, if no light whatever mingled with the shadow, it would be of the first degree of darkness &c. But in the shadow at the blue light does not fall, because the body interposes and intercepts it there. Only the red light falls there and tinges the shadow of a red hue and so a ruddy shadow appears on the background of mingled red and blue.
The shadow of at is red, being caused by the blue light; and the shadow of at is blue being caused by the red light. Hence we say that the blue light in this instance causes a red derived shadow from the opaque body, while the red light causes the same body to cast a blue derived shadow; but the primary shadow [on the dark side of the body itself] is not of either of those hues, but a mixture of red and blue.
The derived shadows will be equal in depth if they are produced by lights of equal strength and at an equal distance; this is proved.
On the nature of colours.
Every object devoid of colour in itself is more or less tinged by the colour [of the object] placed opposite. This may be seen by experience, inasmuch as any object which mirrors another assumes the colour of the object mirrored in it. And if the surface thus partially coloured is white the portion which has a red reflection will appear red, or any other colour, whether bright or dark.
Which colour strikes most? An object at a distance is most conspicuous, when it is lightest, and the darkest is least visible
The medium lying between the eye and the object seen, tinges that object with its colour, as the blueness of the atmosphere makes the distant mountains appear blue and red glass makes objects seen beyond it, look red. The light shed round them by the stars is obscured by the darkness of the night which lies between the eye and the radiant light of the stars.
Take care that the perspective of colour does not disagree with the size of your objects, hat is to say: that the colours diminish from their natural [vividness] in proportion as the objects at various distances dimmish from their natural size.
Of various colours which are none of them blue that which at a great distance will look bluest is the nearest to black; and so, conversely, the colour which is least like black will at a great distance best preserve its own colour.
Hence the green of fields will assume a bluer hue than yellow or white will, and conversely yellow or white will change less than green, and red still less.