Nature Writing Quotes

Quotes tagged as "nature-writing" Showing 1-30 of 71
Edward Abbey
“The fire. The odor of burning juniper is the sweetest fragrance on the face of the earth, in my honest judgment; I doubt if all the smoking censers of Dante's paradise could equal it. One breath of juniper smoke, like the perfume of sagebrush after rain, evokes in magical catalysis, like certain music, the space and light and clarity and piercing strangeness of the American West. Long may it burn.”
Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

“On the first day of November last year, sacred to many religious calendars but especially the Celtic, I went for a walk among bare oaks and birch. Nothing much was going on. Scarlet sumac had passed and the bees were dead. The pond had slicked overnight into that shiny and deceptive glaze of delusion, first ice. It made me remember sakes and conjure a vision of myself skimming backward on one foot, the other extended; the arms become wings. Minnesota girls know that this is not a difficult maneuver if one's limber and practices even a little after school before the boys claim the rink for hockey. I think I can still do it - one thinks many foolish things when November's bright sun skips over the entrancing first freeze.

A flock of sparrows reels through the air looking more like a flying net than seventy conscious birds, a black veil thrown on the wind. When one sparrow dodges, the whole net swerves, dips: one mind. Am I part of anything like that?

Maybe not. The last few years of my life have been characterized by stripping away, one by one, loves and communities that sustain the soul. A young colleague, new to my English department, recently asked me who I hang around with at school. "Nobody," I had to say, feeling briefly ashamed. This solitude is one of the surprises of middle age, especially if one's youth has been rich in love and friendship and children. If you do your job right, children leave home; few communities can stand an individual's most pitiful, amateur truth telling. So the soul must stand in her own meager feathers and learn to fly - or simply take hopeful jumps into the wind.

In the Christian calendar, November 1 is the Feast of All Saints, a day honoring not only those who are known and recognized as enlightened souls, but more especially the unknowns, saints who walk beside us unrecognized down the millennia. In Buddhism, we honor the bodhisattvas - saints - who refuse enlightenment and return willingly to the wheel of karma to help other beings. Similarly, in Judaism, anonymous holy men pray the world from its well-merited destruction. We never know who is walking beside us, who is our spiritual teacher. That one - who annoys you so - pretends for a day that he's the one, your personal Obi Wan Kenobi. The first of November is a splendid, subversive holiday.

Imagine a hectic procession of revelers - the half-mad bag lady; a mumbling, scarred janitor whose ravaged face made the children turn away; the austere, unsmiling mother superior who seemed with great focus and clarity to do harm; a haunted music teacher, survivor of Auschwitz. I bring them before my mind's eye, these old firends of my soul, awakening to dance their day. Crazy saints; but who knows what was home in the heart? This is the feast of those who tried to take the path, so clumsily that no one knew or notice, the feast, indeed, of most of us.

It's an ugly woods, I was saying to myself, padding along a trail where other walkers had broken ground before me. And then I found an extraordinary bouquet. Someone had bound an offering of dry seed pods, yew, lyme grass, red berries, and brown fern and laid it on the path: "nothing special," as Buddhists say, meaning "everything." Gathered to formality, each dry stalk proclaimed a slant, an attitude, infinite shades of neutral.

All contemplative acts, silences, poems, honor the world this way. Brought together by the eye of love, a milkweed pod, a twig, allow us to see how things have been all along. A feast of being.”
Mary Rose O'Reilley, The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd

Annie Dillard
“I think it would be well, and proper, and obedient, and pure, to grasp your one necessity and not let it go, to dangle from it limp wherever it takes you. Then even death, where you're going no matter how you live, cannot you part.”
Annie Dillard, Teaching a Stone to Talk: Expeditions and Encounters

Norman Maclean
“I knew that, when needed, mountains would move for me.”
Norman Maclean, Usfs 1919: Ranger, the Cook, and a Hole in the Sky

Gretel Ehrlich
“The truest art I would strive for in any work would be to give the page the same qualities as earth: weather would land on it harshly, light would elucidate the most difficult truths; wind would sweep away obtuse padding. Finally, the lessons of impermanence taught me this: loss constitutes an odd kind of fullness; despair empties out into an unquenchable appetite for life.”
Gretel Ehrlich, The Solace of Open Spaces

Amit Ray
“Enjoy the peace of Nature and declutter your inner world.”
Amit Ray, Mindfulness Living in the Moment - Living in the Breath

“And like any dog, like any savage, I lay there enjoying myself, harming no man, selling nothing, competing not at all, thinking no evil, smiled on by the sun, bent over by the trees, and softly folded in the arms of the earth.”
John Stewart Collis, The Wood

Joseph Chilton Pearce
“Our reality is influenced by our notions about reality, regardless of the nature of those notions”
Joseph Chilton Pearce, The Crack in the Cosmic Egg: New Constructs of Mind and Reality

Alberto Caeiro
“Also at times, on the surface of streams,
Water?bubbles form
And grow and burst
And have no meaning at all
Except that they’re water?bubbles
Growing and bursting.”
Alberto Caeiro, The Keeper of Sheep

Grey Owl
“We must remember that in the end nature does not belong to us, we belong to it.”
Grey Owl

Jim Harrison
“‎I wish Barry Lopez would write novels.

from "Conversations with Jim Harrison”
Jim Harrison

Brian  Doyle
“We sit on park benches and beaches and couches and hilltops, listening and dreaming seemingly to no particular purpose. But isn't it often the case that when we cease to move and think, we see and hear and understand a great deal?”
Brian Doyle

Paul Doiron
“Nature will forgive humankind just about anything, and what it won’t forgive I hope never to witness.”
Paul Doiron, The Poacher's Son

“The city (regardless which one it is) does provide a certain degree of sophistication and intellectualism. It offers the challenge of professional matters. It throws new and interesting people in one’s path. There is a dynamic and an energy in cities which is diametric to the life-forces of the forest.
Still the cabin is the wellspring, the source, the hub of my existence. It gives me tranquility, a closeness of nature and wildlife, good health and fitness, a sense of security, the opportunity for resourcefulness, reflection and creative thinking…..”
Anne LaBastille

Hope Jahren
“Ireland is so saturated with green that it's the things that not green catch one's eye: the roads, walls, shorelines, even sheep, seem to have been placed as contrast, strategically positioned to organize the vast expansion of green... In Ireland, you can bask in fact that you have been benevolently outnumbered by these first and better life forms. Standing in a peat bog in Dingle, you can not help wondering what Ireland was like before you and other primates scrambled upon its shore.”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl

Carolyn Riker
“I'll tell you a story, far, far from here where blades of grass are fluent in sentient knowledge and trees are a mandala of prayer.”
Carolyn Riker, Blue Clouds: A Collection of Soul’s Creative Intelligence

Brian  Doyle
“On any one day on Wy'East, one million living things lose their lives. They die, are killed, are shredded, fade out, are gulped, expire, decease, pass from this plane, cease to function, demise, commence decomposition, transition to the next stage, initiate cellular breakdown. This is the way it is. Some live a day, and some live a thousand years. Some are smaller than this comma, and some are taller than you can measure with your eye. Some are serence and eat sunlight and rain and do not slay theyir neighbors and do not battle for supremacy and sex and speak a patient green language. Others are vigorous and furious and muscular and speak the languages of blood and bone. This is the way it is...They change, they morph, they evolve, they go extinct, they sink back into the earth from which we all came and shall return. This is the way it is. It may be that every death is mourned, though most go unremarked, and every day's million deaths causes a million other hearts to sag. Who is to say that is not the way it is?”
Brian Doyle, Martin Marten

Anastasia Bolinder
“Nothing is as close to magic as nature.”
Anastasia Bolinder

Mehmet Murat ildan
“Go to nature to get your stolen soul back!”
Mehmet Murat ildan

John Hay
“This beach I voyage on leads me through the earth's immortal consistencies. Each form I encounter obeys the principles of perfection and trial, a timelessness in the making. The proportions of truth are at hand. Existence is celebrated in a splinter of driftwood, worn by wind-driven sand into the shape of an arrow. The onshore waves jostle each other, busy with their eternal changing, mixing crab shells, sand grains, and fish bones together. The trim little shorebirds feeding at the water's edge are acutely aware of one another, under the light and shadow leaning and drifting over all awareness. Wither own mysteries behind their beady eyes, their quick, advantageous movements, they follow the great, unifying sea." ~ John Hay. Bird of Light.”
John Hay, The Bird of Light

“Science makes discoveries when it admits to not knowing, poetry endures if it looks hard at real things. Nature writing, if such a thing exists, lives in this territory where science and poetry might meet. It must be made of both; it needs truth and beauty.”
Tim Dee, The Running Sky: A Bird-Watching Life

Paul Kingsnorth
“To Robinson Jeffers, craggy old California poet, beauty was an objective external reality, something which existed outside of us, in 'the pristine granite' of the cliffs and mountains, not simply a product of human aesthetics. 'The beauty of things was born before eyes,' he wrote, 'and sufficient to itself; the heartbreaking beauty / Will remain when there is no heart to break for it,”
Paul Kingsnorth, Savage Gods

Heather Durham
“Maybe you were never actually lonely for other people. All along, maybe you were lonely for the earth.”
Heather Durham, Going Feral: Field Notes on Wonder and Wanderlust

Alisha Christensen
dances on my skin
like fingertips
rooting in the earth as she whispers
you are read
even though it hurts
Alisha Christensen, Still Growing Wildflowers

Jodi Sky Rogers
“At the end of the Cosmos season, what's left is a field of seeds. How they'll sleep through the grip of winter, nursing dreams in the frosty star-filled nights.

Jodi Sky Rogers

Jodi Sky Rogers
“At the end of the Cosmos season, what's left is a field of seeds. How they'll sleep through the grip of winter, nursing dreams in the frosty star-filled nights.”
Jodi Sky Rogers

Jodi Sky Rogers
“We were once rain dancers. Why don’t we dance for the rain anymore?”
Jodi Sky Rogers

Janisse Ray
“Out beyond houses and mailboxes, roads and bridges, a person can see a realm that exists alongside this world in which we humans live.”
Janisse Ray

Janisse Ray
“Although I was reared on a junkyard by parents who did not waste time hiking or camping, I knew pine trees and pitcher plants, bobcats and brown thrashers, as my people.”
Janisse Ray, Wild Spectacle: Seeking Wonder in a World Beyond Humans

Janisse Ray
“In the wild world, relationship is evolutionary, time is geologic, beauty is intelligent. There we find ourselves under a powerful spell.”
Janisse Ray, Wild Spectacle: Seeking Wonder in a World Beyond Humans

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