How strange that Nature does not knock, and yet does not intrude!
~Emily Dickinson, letter to Mrs. J.S. Cooper, 1880
I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.
~John Muir, 1913, in L.M. Wolfe, ed., John Muir, John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir, 1938
What humbugs we are, who pretend to live for Beauty, and never see the Dawn!
~Logan Pearsall Smith
Man's heart away from nature becomes hard.
How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!
Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.
~George Washington Carver
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.
God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars.
~Author unknown, commonly attributed to Martin Luther
I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.
~Henry David Thoreau
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.
Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't 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.
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.
The poetry of the earth is never dead.
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
In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia.
~Charles A. Lindbergh, Life, 22 December 1967
After all, I don't 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.
Never does nature say one thing and wisdom another.
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 Harold's Pilgrimage
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, 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.
I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.
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.
To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.
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.
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
Great things are done when men and mountains meet. This is not done by jostling in the street.
To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug.
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 nature's bosoms...
~Friedrich von Schiller, "Ode to Joy," 1785, translated from German
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.
I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.
~Frank Lloyd Wright, quoted, 14 August 1966
I can enjoy society in a room; but out of doors, nature is company enough for me.
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...
~Walt Whitman, Specimen Days, "Birds - And a Caution" (Thanks, Corinne)
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.
Nature hates calculators.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
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
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
I've always regarded nature as the clothing of God.
Nature reserves the right to inflict upon her children the most terrifying jests.
And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.
The woods were made for the hunters of dreams,
The brooks for the fishers of song;
To the hunters who hunt for the gunless game
The streams and the woods belong.
~Sam Walter Foss
A rhododendron bud lavender-tipped. Soon a glory of blooms to clash with the cardinals and gladden the hummingbirds!
My heart that was rapt away by the wild cherry blossoms - will it return to my body when they scatter?
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.
Nature is my medicine.
Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.
Fire is the best of servants; but what a master!
~Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, Book II, chapter 9
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.
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
Climb up on some hill at sunrise. Everybody needs perspective once in a while, and you'll find it there.
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.
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 man's 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
There is nothing in the world more peaceful than apple-leaves with an early moon.
Watching clouds roll by
on a sunny day
Who needs church?
Nature is divine.
With innovation and technology, seems we have forgotten to cherish the true beauty the world has to offer.
~A.C. Van Cherub
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
Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
~Michel de Montaigne
A lawn is nature under totalitarian rule.
~Michael Pollan, Second Nature, 1991
Nature will not be admired by proxy.
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
I'll tell you how the sun rose a ribbon at a time.
I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
A setting sun still whispers a promise for tomorrow.
~Jeb Dickerson, www.howtomatter.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 parent's in at once upon him and on one another!
~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827
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
Nothing is more beautiful than the loveliness of the woods before sunrise.
~George Washington Carver
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.
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.
Nature rejuvenates so quickly, so completely. Though we often view ourselves otherwise, we are nature.
~Jeb Dickerson, www.howtomatter.com
Breathless, we flung us on a windy hill,Laughed in the sun, and kissed the lovely grass.
How cunningly nature hides every wrinkle of her inconceivable antiquity under roses and violets and morning dew!
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.
I walked barefoot - the only way to walk on a muddy road.
~Laurie Gough, "Light on a Moonless Night:
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
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.
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.
Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.
~Francis Bacon, Novum Organum, 1620
Nature cannot be tricked or cheated. She will give up to you the object of your struggles only after you have paid her price.
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.
I've 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, I'm convinced of the opposite.
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
Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand.
~Henry David Thoreau, journal, 5 January 1856
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.
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.
If one way be better than another, that you may be sure is Nature's way.
~Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics
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.
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.
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, 1599
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.
Nature is the art of God.
~Thomas Browne, Religio Medici, 1635
The color of the mountains is Buddha's body; the sound of running water is his great speech.
Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Nature never goes out of style.
Nature is a writer's best friend.
There is not a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me.
Maybe nature is fundamentally ugly, chaotic and complicated. But if it's like that, then I want out.
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.