Quotations about Nature
Us nature mystics got to stick together. ~Edward Abbey, Vox Clamantis in Deserto, 1989
I may never traverse the halls of art, yet the dawning day is mine, and the fading twilight, and the lake at eve, and the galaxy of the midnight sky.... I may never place in a Dresden vase one single hothouse flower, but I may lave me in a field of yellow buttercups. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Prayer, 1904
I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and dont notice it.... People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back. ~Alice Walker, The Color Purple, 1982
I am not bound for any public place, but for ground of my own where I have planted vines and orchard trees, and in the heat of the day climbed up into the healing shadow of the woods. Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup. ~Wendell Berry
And how should a beautiful, ignorant stream of water know it heads for an early release — out across the desert, running toward the Gulf, below sea level, to murmur its lullaby, and see the Imperial Valley rise out of burning sand with cotton blossoms, wheat, watermelons, roses, how should it know? ~Carl Sandburg, Good Morning America, 1928
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
The poetry of the earth is never dead. ~John Keats
There's sunshine in the heart of me,
My blood sings in the breeze;
The mountains are a part of me,
I'm fellow to the trees.
~Robert W. Service (1874–1958), "A Rolling Stone," 1912
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, McClures, February 1899
In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia. ~Charles A. Lindbergh, Life, 1967 December 22nd
The moon silvered on one side the leaves, which the shadows bronzed on the other. They called to mind, as they swayed to and fro, the rustling which a bird makes in its flight. Everything murmured and whispered.... Warm vapors rose from the earth, and blent with the coolness of the night. I inhaled a sort of intoxication. Nature sometimes affects the soul just as wine does the body. ~Gustave Haller (Valérie Wilhelmine Joséphine Simonin Fould, 1836–1919), Chapter XI, Renée and Franz / Le Bleuet, 1875, translated from French, 1878
After all, I dont see why I am always asking for private, individual, selfish miracles when every year there are miracles like white dogwood. ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh
The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man. ~Author Unknown
Never does nature say one thing and wisdom another. ~Juvenal, Satires
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.
~George Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harolds Pilgrimage
You cant 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, 1964
The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do. ~Galileo Galilei
Concrete is heavy; iron is hard — but the grass will prevail. ~Edward Abbey, Vox Clamantis in Deserto, 1989
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike. This natural beauty-hunger is made manifest in the little window-sill gardens of the poor, though perhaps only a geranium slip in a broken cup, as well as in the carefully tended rose and lily gardens of the rich, the thousands of spacious city parks and botanical gardens, and in our magnificent National parks — the Yellowstone, Yosemite, Sequoia, etc. — Nature's sublime wonderlands, the admiration and joy of the world. ~John Muir, The Yosemite
Some keep the Sabbath going to Church,
I keep it staying at Home –
With a bobolink for a Chorister,
And an Orchard, for a Dome.
~Emily Dickinson, c.1862
God made sunsets over seas, crimson poppies and glaring streaks of red in the morning sky, violet and oxeye; pressed into creation, out of drab soil, the iris and the tiger-lily, pink magnolias out of bare stems, and fiery poinsettias out of the colorless earth and air; screamed out of His being the utterance of an autumn forest. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Prayers of a Worldling" (VI & VII), A Soul's Faring, 1921 [a little altered
Mother Nature presents neither a wrinkled face nor tottering form, but constantly renews the bloom of her youth, while time fills up the volumes of her history. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882
Good heavens, of what uncostly material is our earthly happiness composed... if we only knew it. What incomes have we not had from a flower, and how unfailing are the dividends of the seasons. ~James Russell Lowell
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. ~Lao Tzu
As you sit on the hillside, or lie prone under the trees of the forest, or sprawl wet-legged by a mountain stream, the great door, that does not look like a door, opens. ~Stephen Graham, The Gentle Art of Tramping
So on their way they went rejoicing—saying pretty things to the fairies, the flowers and the birds, for they are their best friends you know, and they love all Nature with a vast and all-embracing, all-enduring love. ~S.J. Adair Fitz-Gerald (1859–1925), The Zankiwank & The Bletherwitch, 1896
Great things are done when men and mountains meet. This is not done by jostling in the street. ~William Blake
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
Joy all creatures drink
At natures bosoms...
~Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
One touch of nature makes the whole world kin. ~William Shakespeare
I believe in God, only I spell it Nature. ~Frank Lloyd Wright
I can enjoy society in a room; but out of doors, nature is company enough for me. ~William Hazlitt
To one who has been long in city pent,
Tis very sweet to look into the fair
And open face of heaven, — to breathe a prayer
Full in the smile of the blue firmament.
~John Keats, Sonnet XIV
Fieldes have eies and woods have eares. ~John Heywood, 1565
You must not know too much, or be too precise or scientific about birds and trees and flowers and water-craft; a certain free margin, and even vagueness—perhaps ignorance, credulity—helps your enjoyment of these things, and of the sentiment of featherd, wooded, river, or marine Nature generally. ~Walt Whitman, “Birds—And a Caution,” Specimen Days
In June as many as a dozen species may burst their buds on a single day. No man can heed all of these anniversaries; no man can ignore all of them. ~Aldo Leopold
A sensitive plant in a garden grew,
And the young winds fed it with silver dew,
And it opened its fan-like leaves to the light,
and closed them beneath the kisses of night.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Sensitive Plant,” 1820
There are no sounds that can stir the sublime emotions of men's souls like the sighs and whispers of nature. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882
Ive always regarded nature as the clothing of God. ~Alan Hovhaness
Nature is new every morning. ~Proverb
Nature is new every morning, but its cycles are ancient, independent of all our anxieties, oblivious to our plans. ~Barbara Cawthorne Crafton, "Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer," 2003 September 25th
To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment. ~Jane Austen
The reflection of the rays of the sun from living green, during a great part of the year, is highly salutary to the eyes, and through the medium of the eyes, to the rest of the system. ~William Andrus Alcott (1798–1859), The Young Woman's Book of Health, 1850
Nature reserves the right to inflict upon her children the most terrifying jests. ~Thornton Wilder
And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything. ~William Shakespeare
Climb up on some hill at sunrise. Everybody needs perspective once in a while, and youll find it there. ~Robb Sagendorph
Our downfall as a species is that we are arrogant enough to think that we can control Mother Nature and stupid enough to think it is our job. ~Greg Peterson, 1997, www.urbanfarm.org
To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves. ~Mahatma Gandhi
A rhododendron bud lavender-tipped. Soon a glory of blooms to clash with the cardinals and gladden the hummingbirds! ~David J. Beard (1947–2016), tweet, 2009 May 10th
What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.
My heart that was rapt away by the wild cherry blossoms — will it return to my body when they scatter? ~Kotomichi
The tulip and the butterfly
Appear in gayer coats than I:
Let me be dressed fine as I will,
Flies, worms, and flowers exceed me still.
Solitary converse with nature; for thence are ejaculated sweet and dreadful words never uttered in libraries. Ah! the spring days, the summer dawns, and October woods! ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Letters and Social Aims, “Inspiration”
I had an early run in the woods before the dew was off the grass. The moss was like velvet, and as I ran under the arches of yellow and red leaves I sang for joy, my heart was so bright and the world so beautiful. ~Louisa May Alcott, 1845
Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life. ~Rachel Carson
exquisite beauty and elegance
antique yet fresh
~Terri Guillemets, "O! Nature," 2019, blackout poetry created from "Pericles," The Harvard Classics: Plutarch's Lives, 1937, page 49, published from the Dryden's Clough translation, 1859
I never had any other desire so strong, and so like covetousness, as that.... I might be master at last of a small house and a large garden, with very moderate conveniences joined to them, and there dedicate the remainder of my life to the culture of them and the study of nature. ~Abraham Cowley
You know why there are so many whitefish in the Yellowstone River? Because the Fish and Game people have never done anything to help them. ~Russell Chatham, Silent Seasons, 1978
What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet,
Long live the weeds and the wildness yet.
~Gerard Manley Hopkins, Inversnaid
That we find a crystal or a poppy beautiful means that we are less alone, that we are more deeply inserted into existence than the course of a single life would lead us to believe. ~John Berger, The Sense of Sight, 1980
Happiness flutters in the air whilst we rest among the breaths of nature. ~Kelly Sheaffer
He therefore slipped off everywhere, to the right and to the left; he climbed over into every vale that hid itself behind a hill; he visited the pierced shadow-projection of every row of trees; he laid himself down at the feet of a more than commonly beautiful flower, and refreshed himself with pure love by its spirit, without breaking its body; he was the travelling-companion of the powdered butterfly, and observed his burying himself in his flower, and the hedge-sparrow he followed through the bushes to her brooding-cell and nursery; he let himself be spell-bound in the circle which a bee drew around him, and quietly suffered himself to be immured in the shaft of his own nosegay; he exercised upon every village which the motley landscape held up to him the right of way, and loved best to meet the children, whose days played even like his hours— But men he avoided.... ~Jean Paul Friedrich Richter, Hesperus, or Forty-Five Dog-Post-Days: A Biography, translated from German by Charles T. Brooks, 1865
Adults are always so busy with the dull and dusty affairs of life which have nothing to do with grass, trees, and running streams. ~The Little Grey Men by BB (Denys Watkins-Pitchford), 1942
My gracious Lord, we give you thanks for the beauty of the earth and sky and sea, for the songs of birds and the loveliness of flowers, for the wonders of your animal kingdom... in the light of the eye of a camel is reflected the glory of God, in the work of a ladybug is the soul of an artist. ~Ethel Pochocki (1925–2010), The Blessing of the Beasts, 2007 [Friar
If you truly love Nature, you will find beauty everywhere. ~Vincent Van Gogh
All I want is to stand in a field
and to smell green,
to taste air,
to feel the earth want me,
Without all this concrete
~Phillip Pulfrey, from Love, Abstraction and other Speculations, www.originals.net
Nature is mans teacher. She unfolds her treasures to his search, unseals his eye, illumes his mind, and purifies his heart; an influence breathes from all the sights and sounds of her existence. ~Alfred Billings Street
Few people read from the library of Nature. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897
There is nothing in the world more peaceful than apple-leaves with an early moon. ~Alice Meynell
I know the thrill of the grasses when the rain pours over them.
I know the trembling of the leaves when the winds sweep through them.
I know what the white clover felt as it held a drop of dew pressed close in its beauteousness.
I know the quivering of the fragrant petals at the touch of the pollen-legged bees.
I know what the stream said to the dipping willows, and what the moon said to the sweet lavender.
I know what the stars said when they came stealthily down and crept fondly into the tops of the trees.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Creation Songs: V," A Soul's Faring, 1921
With innovation and technology, seems we have forgotten to cherish the true beauty the world has to offer. ~A.C. Van Cherub, 2008
Over our manhood bend the skies;
Against our fallen and traitor lives
The great winds utter prophecies;
With our faint hearts the mountain strives,
Its arms outstretched, the druid wood
Waits with its benedicite
And to our ages drowsy blood
Still shouts the inspiring sea.
~James Russell Lowell, The Vision of Sir Launfal
Keep me true to the trees, faithful to the grasses,
Let me not traduce the birds, betray the faith of the roses, nor hurt the heart of the daffodils...
Keep me fit for stars and twilights, answering to the blue night-shadows.
Set me free to be caressed of the sunshine and embraced of the breeze.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "At the Roots of Grasses: VIII," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923
Nature holds all the answers — go outside and ask some questions — open your heart and listen to the response! ~Amethyst Wyldfyre, AnswersFromYourAngels.com
Some people worry that artificial intelligence will make us feel inferior, but then, anybody in his right mind should have an inferiority complex every time he looks at a flower. ~Alan C. Kay
Quiet meditation is all that is balm
Back into nature is where we find calm...
~Helen F. Troy, "Tired Soul," 1895 January 19th [Context note: By "back into nature" she is actually referring to death.
Let us a little permit Nature to take her own way; she better understands her own Affairs than we. ~Michel de Montaigne, “Of Experience,” translated from French by Charles Cotton
Nature has with a Motherly Tenderness observed this, that the Action she has enjoyned us for our Necessity should be also pleasant to us, and invites us to them, not only by Reason, but also by Appetite: and tis Injustice to infringe her Laws. ~Michel de Montaigne, “Of Experience,” translated from French by Charles Cotton
A lawn is nature under totalitarian rule. ~Michael Pollan, Second Nature, 1991
I can still smell the green of the grass crushed beneath me. Feel the damp of the dew on my elbows. Hear the birdsong. ~Kristina Turner, The Self-Healing Cookbook, 2002, originally published 1987
Nature will not be admired by proxy. ~Winston Churchill
Nature inspires my everything — my being, my solitude, my writing and my art, my whole life. She lifts me upon her welcoming wings and soars me through the sky of possibilities. She colors my day, brightens my soul, and calms my nights. She is fierce and beautiful, strong and delicate — an untiring Queen so generous of advice and never weary of new beginnings. In spring a colorful maiden, in winter a wise old lady, in autumn a looking-glass to my falling-leaf self, and summer a warm blossomed benefactor, comrade to the sun. A constant companion — sometimes indifferent or harsh but oft nuzzling me with genial breezes, sharing a vast serenity, or lavishing vital gifts. To close my windows and shut her out would be error and melancholy. ~Terri Guillemets
If you wish to know the divine, feel the wind on your face and the warm sun on your hand. ~Buddha
The spiritual quality of earth: eternally pregnant and containing in its fertility the unwritten cipher of cosmic lore. ~Frieda Harris
Say, care-worn man,
Whom Duty chains within the city walls,
Amid the toiling crowd, how grateful plays
The fresh wind oer thy sickly brow, when free
To tread the springy turf,— to hear the trees
Communing with the gales,—to catch the voice
Of waters, gushing from their rocky womb,
And singing as they wander...
Spring-hours will come again, and feelings rise
With dewy freshness oer thy witherd heart.
~Robert Montgomery, “Beautiful Influences,” A Universal Prayer; Death; A Vision of Heaven; and A Vision of Hell; &c. &c., 1829
The great pulsation of nature beats too in my breast, and when I carol aloud, I am answered by a thousand-fold echo. I hear a thousand nightingales. Spring hath sent them to awaken Earth from her morning slumber, and Earth trembles with ecstasy, her flowers are hymns, which she sings in inspiration to the sun... ~Heinrich Heine, "Ideas: Book Le Grand," 1826, translated from German by Charles Godfrey Leland, Pictures of Travel, 1855
Life is beautiful, only we haven't known how to keep it radiant and rosy-cheeked and lovely. We have allowed it to become sickly, with green and ashen hue.
We do not know how to accept life.... Clumsy of soul, we do not know how to open our hearts like the flowers that receive the dew, nor lean like the leaves when the breeze would kiss them. There are dawns to which we never open, and singing winds to which our breasts are dumb.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: VI," A Soul's Faring, 1921
God's handiwork is all about me,
As I sit on the porch and gaze
At the far-off peaks of the mountains
That are touched with the sun's bright rays.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "In the Mountains" (1940s)
But when he had thus for some hours wandered on, with drinking eye and absorbing heart, through pearl-strings of bedewed web-work, through humming vales, over singing hills, and when the violet-blue sky peacefully joined itself to the smoking heights and to the dark woods, rising like garden-walls behind each other,—when Nature opened all the pipes of the stream of life, and when all her fountains leaped up, and, flashing, played into each other, painted over by the sun,—then was Victor, who went through these flying streams with a rising and thirsty heart, lifted and softened by them; then did his heart swim, trembling like the suns image in the infinite ocean....
Then did flower, meadow, and grove dissolve into a dim immensity, and the color-grains of Nature melted away into a single broad flood, and over the glimmering flood stood the Infinite One as a sun, and in it, as a reflected sun, the human heart.—
All was one; all hearts grew to one greatest heart; a single life throbbed; the blooming pictures, the growing statues, the dusty clod of earth, and the infinite blue vault became the beholding face of an immeasurable soul.
~Jean Paul Friedrich Richter, Hesperus, or Forty-Five Dog-Post-Days: A Biography, translated from German by Charles T. Brooks, 1865
The dance of the palm trees, the oceans calling, the first rays of sun and heaven is here. ~Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife
Infinitely will I trust nature's instincts and promptings, but I will not call my own perversions nature. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Wind-Wafted Wild Flowers," in The Open Court, August 1903
Innovative capitalists have tried to rewrite nature, but to no avail. ~Terri Guillemets, 2007
I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order. ~John Burroughs
A setting sun still whispers a promise for tomorrow. ~Jeb Dickerson, jebdickerson.com
Any man that walks the mead
In bud, or blade, or bloom, may find
A meaning suited to his mind.
What a type of happy family is the family of the sun! with what order, with what harmony, with what blessed peace, do his children the planets move around him, shining with light which they drink in from their parents in at once upon him and on one another! ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827
Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your teacher.
Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain. ~Henry David Thoreau
I will not die of four walls while there is breath in the hills. My misery is born under a roof, but it shall perish in the fields. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: XL," A Soul's Faring, 1921
...The woods, the lawns, the heaths supply
Lessons from Nature to the heart....
~Charlotte Turner Smith (1749-1806), “The Horologe of the Fields”
The attraction of variety, contrast, is always invigorating. Nature does not for long allow a sameness of beauty to prevail. ~Virginia Garland, "The Rain," Out West: A Magazine of the Old Pacific and the New, February 1908
The natural alone is permanent. Fantastic idols may be worshipped for a while; but at length they are overturned by the continual and silent progress of Truth, as the grim statues of Copan have been pushed from their pedestals by the growth of forest-trees, whose seeds were sown by the wind in the ruined walls. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Kavanagh: A Tale, 1849
Nothing is more beautiful than the loveliness of the woods before sunrise. ~George Washington Carver
Nature befriends those who befriend her. ~Terri Guillemets
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
It is one of those fringy, winding places
Where close the clover-velvet interlaces,
And the dwarf oak and little evergreen,
Lovers, in one another's arms are seen;
While larkspur, painted-brush and poppy flame—
All flowers the low winds, coming, call by name—
Make mimic sunsets under foot, with hues
Of purple and of scarlet, greens and blues,
Blended so deftly evening may despair
To paint a hilltop or a sky so fair...
~John Vance Cheney, "The Redwoods Fairy," 1893–1911
There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough to pay attention to the story. ~Linda Hogan
In nature answers are given quietly, in the details, just waiting for discovery. ~Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife
A very strange and solemn feeling came over me as I stood there, with no sound but the rustle of the pines, no one near me, and the sun so glorious, as for me alone. It seemed as if I felt God as I never did before, and I prayed in my heart that I might keep that happy sense of nearness all my life. ~Louisa May Alcott, 1845
The Spirit speaks,—or beauty from the sky
Descends into my being,—when I hear
The storm-hymns of the mighty ocean roll,
Or thunder sound,—the champion of the storm!—
Then I feel envy for immortal words,
The rush of living thought; oh! then I long
To dash my feelings into deathless verse,
That may administer to unborn time,
And tell some lofty soul how I have lived
A worshipper of Nature and of Thee!
~Robert Montgomery, “Death,” A Universal Prayer; Death; A Vision of Heaven; and A Vision of Hell; &c. &c., 1829
Forests, lakes, and rivers, clouds and winds, stars and flowers, stupendous glaciers and crystal snowflakes — every form of animate or inanimate existence, leaves its impress upon the soul of man. ~Orison Swett Marden
I will find my joy —
Not in a bed of hothouse roses,
but in a wayward roadside flower.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Prayer, 1904
An open window is good company, like the burning candle of Lichtenberg. ~Terri Guillemets ["Man loves company even if it is only that of a small burning candle." ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799)
I come from the workshop of creation with inside secrets...
I know why they opened the day with coral and closed it with crimson, and set a blue canopy between.
I know confidential things — I watched and I listened...
I saw vats where bird-songs were brewed.
I saw the seasons come out of the molding room. I know the admixture. I know what they contain.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "At the Roots of Grasses: II," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923
Nature rejuvenates so quickly, so completely. Though we often view ourselves otherwise, we are nature. ~Jeb Dickerson, jebdickerson.com
Breathless, we flung us on a windy hill,
Laughed in the sun, and kissed the lovely grass.
Nature is sanative, refining, elevating. How cunningly she hides every wrinkle of her inconceivable antiquity under roses, and violets, and morning dew! Every inch of the mountains is scarred by unimaginable convulsions, yet the new day is purple with the bloom of youth and love. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Progress of Culture”
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.
~William Butler Yeats, "The Lake Isle of Innisfree," The Rose, 1893
...the world is mud-
~E. E. Cummings, "Chansons Innocentes: I," Tulips and Chimneys, 1923
I walked barefoot — the only way to walk on a muddy road. ~Laurie Gough, “Light on a Moonless Night”
The blue of heaven is duplicated in my own soul.
The songs of the birds are in the high branches of my being.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of Him: V," A Soul's Faring, 1921
A wise man can do no better than to turn from the churches and look up through the airy majesty of the wayside trees with exultation, with resignation, at the unconquerable unimplicated sun. ~Llewelyn Powys, The Pathetic Fallacy
[T]hro this Air, this Ocean, and this Earth,
All Nature quick, and bursting into birth.
Above, how high progressive life may go?
Around how wide? how deep extend below?
Vast Chain of Being! which from God began,
Ethereal Essence, Spirit, Substance, Man,
Beast, Bird, Fish, Insect! what no Eye can see,
No Glass can reach! from Infinite to Thee!
From Thee to Nothing....
From Natures Chain whatever Link you strike,
Tenth, or ten thousandth, breaks the chain alike....
All are but parts of one stupendous Whole:
Whose Body Nature is, and God the Soul.
~Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man
To a brain wearied by the din of the city, the clatter of wheels, the jingle of street cars, the discord of bells, the cries of venders, the ear-splitting whistles of factory and shop, how refreshing is the heavenly stillness of the country! To the soul tortured by the sight of ills it cannot cure, wrongs it cannot right, and sufferings it cannot relieve, how blessed to be alone with nature, with trees living free, unfettered lives, and flowers content each in its native spot, with brooks singing of joy and good cheer, with mountains preaching divine peace and rest! ~Olive Thorne Miller, "Tramps with an Enthusiast," The Atlantic Monthly, May 1895 #hsp
If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive. ~Eleonora Duse
and the stones
and the birds
and the animals
are my family too —
~James McGrath (b.1928)
It is surprising, in the midst of our Museums and Scientific Schools, how little we yet know of the common things around us.... It is no wonder that there is so little substantial enjoyment of Nature in the community, when we feed children on grammars and dictionaries only, and take no pains to train them to see that which is before their eyes. The mass of the community have "summered and wintered" the universe pretty regularly, one would think for a good many years; and yet nine persons out of ten in the town or city, and two out of three even in the country, seriously suppose, for instance, that the buds upon trees are formed in the spring; they have had them within sight all winter, and never seen them. ~Thomas Wentworth Higginson, "April Days," first published 1861, quoted from the 1897 edition
Rain is my favorite color
Autumn's breath is too
Sunshine on the water
A sunset breeze's hue
The taste of freedom excites me
And the smell of love brand new
I touch your soul and feel its silk
Hear the silence and know it's true
~Terri Guillemets, "Rain is my favorite color," 1988
How good it is to handle the things of this world: the dry leaves, the pollen of things (dust is the daughter of things). My daily life is very adorned. ~Clarice Lispector (1920–1977), A Breath of Life: Pulsations, written 1974–1977, published posthumously 1978, edited by Olga Borelli and Benjamin Moser, translated from the Portuguese by Johnny Lorenz, 2012 [Angela
Nature is not benevolent: with ruthless indifference she makes all things serve their purposes... ~Laozi, as quoted in The Wisdom of the East: The Sayings of Lao Tzŭ, translated from the Chinese by Lionel Giles, 1904
The unicorn could hear the sounds of the Earth growing: grass and leaves and timothy in the fields. She could distinguish between oak and ash on the rise, though the sound of rowan growing made her tremble all over. ~Jane Yolen, "The Lady's Garden," Here There Be Unicorns, 1994 [a little altered
Nature, in her blind search for life, has filled every possible cranny of the earth with some sort of fantastic creature. ~Joseph Wood Krutch
God is an artist of Nature;
He paints in colors, so rare,
The bursting bud in the Springtime,
The lovely trees everywhere:
Autumn leaves so very gorgeous,
In colors of every hue,
The fleecy clouds, so pure and white,
That sail in the skies of blue.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "God is an Artist of Nature" (1940s)
And in the development of these [mountains] Nature chose for a tool, not the earthquake or lightning to rend and split asunder, not the stormy torrent or eroding rain, but the tender snow-flowers noiselessly falling through unnumbered centuries, the offspring of the sun and sea. Laboring harmoniously in united strength, they crushed and ground and wore away the rocks in their march, making vast beds of soil, and at the same time developed and fashioned the landscapes into the delightful variety of hill and dale and lordly mountain that mortals call beauty.... And our admiration must be excited again and again as we toil and study and learn that this vast job of rock-work, so far-reaching in its influences, was done by agents so fragile and small as are these flowers of the mountain clouds.... Thus and so on it has oftentimes seemed to me sang and planned and labored the hearty snow-flower crusaders; and nothing that I can write can possibly exaggerate the grandeur and beauty of their work. ~John Muir, “The Sierra Nevada,” The Mountains of California
Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons,
It is to grow in the open air, and to eat and sleep with the earth.
Each sunshine-moment twinkles by
A white-winged, wandering butterfly,
Through sky half golden and half blue,
With white-rose cloudlets rippling through.
A world of flowers is at our feet;
The soft wind's gladsome, warm, and sweet...
~W.T., "Honeymoon Cottage," Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Arts, 1862 June 28th
May your search through Nature lead you to yourself. ~Author Unknown
Im terribly sorry, but nature is not always family friendly. ~Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo video game) written by Takayuki Ikkaku, Arisa Hosaka, and Toshihiro Kawabata
Nature, as we know her, is no saint.... She comes eating and drinking and sinning. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Experience”
[A]nd now I might
As happy be as earth is beautiful...
~Edward Thomas (1878-1917), “October”
I know not your decree to keep the Sabbath day holy. Go tell it to the brook. It will chortle at your implied desecration of the other six. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912
Perfect silence in Nature is impossible. Even in that awful hush before a thunderstorm, when the world seems dead, already slain by some cataclysmic disaster, the tiny twitter of a bird, the cry of a sheep or the fluttering of a dead leaf to earth, breaks the stillness; and in the darkest hours of night an owl may hoot mournfully, a vagrant wind disturb the slumbering trees. Only those with ears untuned to the infinite minute sounds of Nature dream that there can be silence, for absolute silence is an attribute of death, and Nature is eternally pregnant with life.... the choiring of the birds at dawn, the minute yet miraculous drone of the insects on a hot summer's day — humming of a multitude of flies and bees, chirping of grasshoppers, the almost imperceptible thrum of hovering wings. How still, how quiet the mind must be to absorb their infinitesimal music! ~Dallas Kenmare Browne Kelsey (c.1905–1970), "The Music of Nature," 1931
The finest music is that which Nature plays on her leafy harps. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897
I am the gentle dreamer,
Weaving in and out a warp of the moon with a woof of the mist...
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Red Threads of My Heart: VI," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923
Nature's beautiful dancers — flowers, water, leaves
Dancing to the music of God's sweet breeze.
If I might bring one orchid out of my soul...
If I might bring out of its sensitized soil one tinted petal, one delicate tendril, one gossamer tracery of leaf!
What in all my striving days do I bring forth like the grace of a single wilding rose?...
Shall I ever have a single hour like the burst of God's unnumbered dawns of day?
Shall I ever bring forth in all the years of my barren being like the verdure that grows with ease on the sides of high hills?
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: XLIX," A Soul's Faring, 1921
Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed. ~Francis Bacon, Novum Organum, 1620
Ah, if he could have plunged up into the clouds, so as to sweep thereon through the undulating heavens over the boundless earth!—ah, if he could have floated with the flower-fragrance over the flowers,—could have streamed with the wind over the summits, through the woods! ~Jean Paul Friedrich Richter, Hesperus, or Forty-Five Dog-Post-Days: A Biography, translated from German by Charles T. Brooks, 1865
How glorious art thou, Earth! And if thou be
The shadow of some spirit lovelier still...
~Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822), Prometheus Unbound
Cherry-summer cloud-happy heart blossoms overgrowing my sunlit soul bursting into nature's freedom! ~Terri Guillemets
In fairyland we avoid the word "law"; but in the land of science they are singularly fond of it.... The only words that ever satisfied me as describing Nature are the terms used in fairy books, "charm," "spell," "enchantment." They express the arbitrariness of the fact and its mystery. ~G.K. Chesterton, "The Ethics of Elfland," Orthodoxy
Beneath our feet a fairy pathway flows,
The grass still glitters in the summer breeze,
The dusky wood, and distant copse appear,
And that lone stream, upon whose chequerd face
We mused, when noon-rays made the pebbles gleam,
Is mirrord to the mind: though all around
Be rattling hoofs and roaring wheels, the eye
Is wandring where the heart delights to dwell.
~Robert Montgomery, “Beautiful Influences,” A Universal Prayer; Death; A Vision of Heaven; and A Vision of Hell; &c. &c., 1829
All the uglinesses of the world can best be forgotten in the beauty of nature! ~Mehmet Murat ildan
...i glow at the sight of each morning
i delight in the sunshine of pleasure
i plant my seeds in thankfulness
i get high on nature’s magnificence
i stare in reverence at trees
i cherish each blissful breeze
i open every window i can
i invite every light to play
i adore every cloud in the sky
i welcome each raindrop & tear
i memorize every flower’s aura
i read old books & withering leaves...
The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom. ~Theodore Roosevelt
The birds that wake the morning, and those that love the shade;
The winds that sweep the mountain or lull the drowsy glade;
The Sun that from his amber bower rejoiceth on his way,
The Moon and Stars, their Master's name in silent pomp display.
~Reginald Heber (1783–1826), "Seventh Sunday After Trinity," Hymns, Written and Adapted to the Weekly Church Service of the Year [The original version of this was a poem titled "Spring," published in 1816. This modified version was published posthumously in 1827 by his widow Amelia Heber. The wording of the two versions has quite a few variations.
Nature and quiet go better together. ~Terri Guillemets
There is not a creature unacquainted with gratification, in some shape or another. All derive it from the circumstances amid which they exist, which fact quietly suggests to us that the purest and most lasting pleasures are to be found at our very feet,— that they are not necessarily the fruit of toil and outlay, but that they flow to us out of the very nature of things, if we will but be content with what is simple and genuine.... The foot that is familiar with the grass belongs usually to a man of lighter heart than he whose soles seldom wander from the pavement; and the best elixir vitæ is a run, as often as we can contrive it, amid the sweets of new and lovely scenery, where nature sits, fresh from the hand of the Creator, almost chiding us for our delay. ~Leo Hartley Grindon, “Insects,” The Little Things of Nature: Considered Especially in Relation to the Divine Benevolence, 1865
Nature cannot be tricked or cheated. She will give up to you the object of your struggles only after you have paid her price. ~Napoleon Hill
Oh! the marguerites in the meadows; the little paths under the trembling leaves; the nests hidden in the ivies against the old walls; and the nightingales on moonlight nights; and the sweet conversations, hand in hand, on the brinks of wells, lined with honeysuckles and carpeted with maiden's-hair and moss... and everything that moves and charms you, and makes an impression on your heart.... my soul inundated and my heart refreshed by innocence and candor, as a little rain refreshes the little flower too much burned by the sun, too much dried by the wind.... I really needed a quieter life, to restore me a little. ~Octave Mirbeau, A Chambermaid's Diary / Le Journal d'une Femme de Chambre, 1900, translated from the French by Benjamin R. Tucker
I sing of brooks, of blossoms, birds and bowers,
Of April, May, of June, and July-flowers...
Society, as we have constituted it, will have no place for me, has none to offer; but Nature, whose sweet rains fall on unjust and just alike, will have clefts in the rocks where I may hide, and secret valleys in whose silence I may weep undisturbed. She will hang the night with stars so that I may walk abroad in the darkness without stumbling, and send the wind over my footprints so that none may track me to my hurt: she will cleanse me in great waters, and with bitter herbs make me whole. ~Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) [However, as beautiful as is his description of sweet Nature in this piece, "He asked too much, both from Nature and from himself.... Nature could only harbour for a moment this liver in great cities who had told her that her use was to illustrate quotations from the poets, and had said that he preferred to have her captive on his walls in the canvases of Corot and Constable, than to live in her cruder landscapes. He had never intended to make too elaborate an advance to her.... He knew that reading Baudelaire in a café would be more natural to him than an agricultural existence. He was determined, however, not to return to the extravagances of his life before prison, and he hoped that the country would help him keep his resolve." ~Arthur Ransome, Oscar Wilde: A Critical Study, 1912
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
[H]e ran, he stopped—he dipped his glowing face into the cloud of blossoming bushes, and would fain lose himself in the humming world between the leaves; he pressed the scratched face into the deep, cooling grass, and hung delirious on the breast of the immortal mother of Spring. ~Jean Paul Friedrich Richter, Hesperus, or Forty-Five Dog-Post-Days: A Biography, translated from German by Charles T. Brooks, 1865
O you, my sister,
Makes me happy…
And you, stream,
At the water's edge
What can I say,
In my delirium?
I admire you…
And I sigh…
Love one day,
~Octave Mirbeau, The Diary of a Chambermaid, 1900, translated from French (versets de Mlle. Célestine R—)
Ive made an odd discovery. Every time I talk to a savant I feel quite sure that happiness is no longer a possibility. Yet when I talk with my gardener, Im convinced of the opposite. ~Bertrand Russell
Upon a time-blanchd cliff to muse, and, while
The eagle glories in a sea of air,
To mingle with the scene around!—Survey
The sun-warm heaven...
~Robert Montgomery, “Beautiful Influences,” A Universal Prayer; Death; A Vision of Heaven; and A Vision of Hell; &c. &c., 1829
And after half a miles ride through a beautiful grove, they emerged into a little clearing, which seemed to Bessies astonished eyes like a patch of beauty dropped from heaven. In the centre stood a small log house, so overrun with clinging vines that it seemed at first but a green and flowery mound. To the south of it a little garden stretched away in natural terraces; on the east a small, but luxuriant fruit orchard reared its graceful young trees, whose branches even thus early in the season hung low with their promise of gold and crimson harvest. To the west a meadow, soft and mossy as an English lawn, sloped down to a silvery brook, whose birthplace was in the rocky hill, a little to the north, down whose steep bank its pure waters came leaping and singing, with bright rainbows sparkling ever about its fairy pathway. Back of the rustic lodge, a cool, dim, but magnificent forest stretched away till its long aisles met the feet of hoary mountains which completely shut in the little nook from the great world beyond. ~Mrs. Caroline A. Soule, “The Torys Niece,” c.1858
How many stanzas in the springtime breeze?
How plenty the raindrops? As He doth please.
There is no meter and there is no rhyme,
Yet God's poems always read in perfect time.
Truly it may be said that the outside of a mountain is good for the inside of a man. ~George Wherry, Alpine Notes and the Climbing Foot, 1896
I am drunk with being, —
Life's inebriate reeling down an enchanted way.
I shout my maudlin greeting to the trees.
I grasp familiarly the gentle fingers of the grass.
I press my wine-wet lips to the roses with my insistent kissing.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Creation Songs: IV," A Soul's Faring, 1921
Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand. ~Henry David Thoreau, journal, 1856 January 5th
I am coming the upward route, the hill road. I am leaning hard on my staff, my mountain boots are torn — but I am coming, I am on the far, high ledge.
I am coming with a spray of kinnikinnic in my mountain coat, and the autumn colors in my mountain soul.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "At the Roots of Grasses: V," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923
Mother Nature is the ultimate truth of the show must go on. ~Terri Guillemets
The mind, in proportion as it is cut off from free communication with nature, with revelation, with God, with itself, loses its life, just as the body droops when debarred from the air and the cheering light from heaven. ~William Channing
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 world is a sunny success. ~Terri Guillemets
If one way be better than another, that you may be sure is Natures way. ~Aristotle
I have never seen a wildflower in all its beauty be ashamed of where it grows. ~Michael Xavier
A wee child toddling in a wonder world.... 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
One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.
~William Wordsworth, “The Tables Turned,” 1798
You will find something more in woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters. ~St. Bernard
Have I expanded to meet the hills? What has the out-of-doors meant to me? Something to be glimpsed through a window? Something remote? Was it not mine to open to it, to walk straight into it? Why did I not walk out into the limitlessness and get the big perspective? There is such abundance and room of Nature, and such meagerness of space in me. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: XLVI," A Soul's Faring, 1921 [a little altered
And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.
~William Shakespeare, As You Like It
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
Nature is the art of God. ~Thomas Browne, Religio Medici, 1635
The color of the mountains is Buddhas body; the sound of running water is his great speech. ~Dōgen
The moon quotes the sun, the rivers quote the trees, and trees quote the breeze. ~Terri Guillemets
Earths crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Nature never goes out of style. ~Terri Guillemets, "Beneath the pine," 1989
I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars. ~Walt Whitman
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. ~W.H. Hudson, The Book of a Naturalist, 1919
We say of the oak, "How grand of girth!"
Of the willow we say, "How slender!"
And yet to the soft grass, clothing earth,
How slight is the praise we render!...
Each year her buttercups nod and drowse,
With sun and dew brimming over;
Each year she pleases the greedy cows
With oceans of honeyed clover...
~Edgar Fawcett (1847–1904), "Grass" (c.1877), Songs of Doubt and Dream #grassfed
There is not a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me. ~Thomas Jefferson
Maybe nature is fundamentally ugly, chaotic and complicated. But if its like that, then I want out. ~Steven Weinberg
Sunshine has no budget, the sea no red tape. The trees do not license themselves to the countryside. The bees don't invoice the flowers. There is no committee of oceans, and I've never seen a bird take out nest owner's insurance. ~Terri Guillemets
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 birds nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life. ~John Burroughs
Thanks to Michael Garofalo of The Spirit of Gardening
for sharing some of these great quotes. After all these years,
I am ever further enraptured by your amazing site!