On the last Wednesday of every month, I serve up a potpourri of advice, inspiration and other tidbits I've come across in recent weeks. This month saw the beginning of spring--at least that's what the calendar said; the thermometer hasn't gotten the message yet. Maybe we can urge the season along with a few spring-y and nature-y quotes.
Your treat for reading to the end of this post is a look at the winning entry in Maple Moon Farm's FEED THE STARVING ARTIST contest, featured here last month.
. . . you don't have to travel a thousand miles to experience wilderness. There's always a creek nearby, a place behind a fence where nobody goes, a tree root pushing up through the sidewalk. Sometimes it's just a bench where you sit and look at something beyond yourself. Dawn is a wilderness. . . It's what you become when you let the place saturate you. I'm talking about the way your heart changes. It becomes inseparable from the place.
-- Craig Childs, writer, naturalist and wilderness explorer, interviewed in The Sun, June 2016
Spring passes and one remembers one's innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one's exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one's reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one's perseverance.
― Yoko Ono, Season of Glass
For 99 percent of the time we've been on Earth, we were hunters and gatherers, our lives dependent on knowing the fine, small details of our world. Deep inside, we still have a longing to be reconnected with the nature that shaped our imagination, our language, our song and dance, our sense of the divine.
-- Janine Benyus, biologist and author of Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature
It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.
― Rainer Maria Rilke
Tonight I discovered nature. For the first time, I saw it. For the first time, I didn't look at it; I listened to it--not with my ears, although I did that too, but with my eyes. Instead of pushing out at it, trying to understand it, I let it speak to me. On my left, some distance away, was the highway. From there I could hear man--man always striving, never quite there. Then I looked at the stars. They were silent, and powerful beyond all effort. They were stars being stars and therefore brilliantly alive. How puny are words about stars.
-- Hugh Prather
When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.
― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
How strange and wonderful is our home, our earth, with its swirling vaporous atmosphere, its flowing and frozen liquids, its trembling plants, its creeping, crawling, climbing creatures, the croaking things with wings that hang on rocks and soar through the fog, the furry grass, the scaly seas.
-- Edward Abbey
It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want—oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!
― Mark Twain
Love all the earth, every ray of God's light, every grain of sand or blade of grass, every living thing. If you love the earth enough, you will know the divine mystery.
-- Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
For every person who has ever lived there will come, at last, a spring he will never see. Glory then in the springs that are yours.
-- Pam Brown
How will you glory in this spring? Maybe a bit of gardening? While we're thinking about growing things, take a look at some of the entries in Maple Moon Farm's FEED THE STARVING ARTIST contest. The theme was "Local Food and Local Farms" and the winner, multimedia artist Kendra McKimmy, received a $250 gift card to the farm. You may remember Kendra from an early HeartWood blog post about her sister Linda's restaurant, Hit the Road Joe Coffee Cafe.
Her winning entry in the Maple Moon contest featured a print from a 1934 farm calendar and locally-found tree parts, against a background of ground-up dried bean pods from her garden last year. Amazing work from one of the area's most gifted artists.
Written from the heart,
from the heart of the woods
Read the introduction to HeartWood here.
Nan Sanders Pokerwinski, a former journalist, writes memoir and personal essays, makes collages and likes to play outside. She lives in West Michigan with her husband, Ray.