Last Wednesday Wisdom for October
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-- John Muir, John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir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.
10/26/2016 07:43:36 am
Einstein and Muir quotes are my favorites! Just came back from a refreshing, moisturizing walk with a friend in our local wilderness.
10/27/2016 06:29:54 am
Thank you, Cris! Glad to hear you got out for a walk, even on a damp day. And thanks for reading HeartWood.
10/26/2016 08:46:04 am
Lovely, even enjoying the rain today.
10/27/2016 06:31:02 am
Me too, Kathy. It's soothing, and I feel cozy when I come inside after being out in the rain.
10/26/2016 01:45:57 pm
I think Annie Dillard's quote speaks to me most, Nan. I've always loved sitting high in a tree stand listening and waiting for the woods, and the creatures who live there, to wake as the sun comes up or fall asleep as it goes down. Closing my eyes to broaden senses of smell and sound as the wind rolls like a wave on a sea of leaves over my head is truly a peaceful place to be.
10/27/2016 06:31:35 am
Fascinating perspective, Susan, and beautifully expressed.
10/26/2016 06:18:33 pm
Lovely topic! I most closely relate to Robin Wall-Kimmerer's words. Plants as a portal to prayer feels right to me.
10/27/2016 06:33:29 am
I had a feeling you would, Marsha. It's so interesting to know which quotes speak most powerfully to particular readers.
10/27/2016 04:09:36 am
I'm learning all the time to attune my senses to the plants and nature that surround us. We are blessed. Enjoy your blog every week. Bless you.
10/27/2016 06:34:21 am
You have a beautiful setting for doing that, Sue. Thank you for your words and for reading the blog.
10/29/2016 07:55:37 am
I am blessed to be in a place where wilderness and nature are in abundance, Sedona, AZ. The beauty is breathtaking.
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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.