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. Because October has been such a beautiful time to be outdoors and enjoy nature, this month's installment features words about the natural world.
Adopt the pace of nature: Her secret is patience.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
So, then: What's wilderness?
Maybe wilderness is a place of isolation, of solitude. Maybe wilderness is a place where, through your solitude, you reach toward some larger power or mystery. You could be at the top of Mount McKinley, or you could be in a vacant lot in Colorado Springs, with weeds growing up around the broken bottles. What more do we get out of wilderness when we think of it as our own solitude?
-- Poet David Mason, interviewed in The Sun, April 2015
In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous.
I don't think I can learn from a wild animal how to live in particular . . . but I might learn something of mindfulness, something of the purity of living in the physical senses and the dignity of living without bias or motive.
-- Annie Dillard
We still do not know one-thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us.
-- Albert Einstein
The act of looking, of paying attention, is akin to prayer for me. It can be transporting. I particularly love observing plants. I like climbing mountains and paddling rivers and chasing butterflies, too, but plants are my doorway to wonder.
-- Robin Wall Kimmerer, interviewed in The Sun, April 2016
I willingly confess to so great a partiality for trees as tempts me to respect a man in exact proportion to his respect for them.
-- James Russell Lowell
The earth has its music for those who will listen.
-- George Santayana
This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.
-- John Muir, John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir
Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.
-- Gary Snyder
No bonus this month, because instead of adding more content here, I'm going outside for another dose of nature! I encourage you to do the same. See you again soon.
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.