nature - nature 3 - nature 4

If one way be better than
another,  that you may
be sure is nature's way.


When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in its beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.   I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.  I come into the presence of still water.  And I feel above me day-blind stars waiting for their light.  For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Wendell Berry


There is a certain consideration, and a general duty of humanity, that binds us not only to the animals, which have life and feeling, but even to the trees and plants.  We owe justice to people, and kindness and benevolence to all other creatures who may be susceptible of it.  There is some intercourse between them and us, and some mutual obligation.

Michel de Montaigne

We all look at nature too much, and live with her too little.

Oscar Wilde

We cannot fail in following nature.


To cultivate a garden is. . . to go hand in hand with Nature in some of her most beautiful processes, to learn something of her choicest secrets, and to have a more intelligent interest awakened in the beautiful order of her works elsewhere.

Christian Bovee


. . .this prayer I make,
Knowing that Nature never did betray
The heart that loved her; 't is her privilege,
Through all the years of this our life, to lead
From joy to joy: for she can so inform
The mind that is within us, so impress
With quietness and beauty, and so feed
With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues,
Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men,
Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all
The dreary intercourse of daily life,
Shall e'er prevail against us, or disturb
Our cheerful faith, that all which we behold
Is full of blessings.

William Wordsworth
from "Lines"


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One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.

William Shakespeare


Nature is another important aspect of nourishing the soul.  After
a hike in the mountains where we live, for instance, I feel a
remarkable sense of gratitude and awe.  My mind quiets down
and allows me to see more clearly the beauty of creation.  And
through that gratitude, the beauty of the universe is reflected
back to the creator.

Joan Borysenko


You will find more in woods than in books.  Trees and stones will
teach you that which you can never learn from the masters.

St. Bernard

All of our ideas come from the natural world:
trees equal umbrellas.

Wallace Stevens

I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.

Willa Cather

Life is the gift of nature; beautiful
living is the gift of wisdom.

Celtic saying

Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


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The more I see of life the more I perceive that only
through solitary communion with nature can one gain
an idea of its richness and meaning.

Cyril Connolly

nature - nature 3 - nature 4

The love of nature is the only love that does not deceive human hopes.

Honore de Balzac


Art is embedded in nature and they who can extract it, have it.

Albrecht Duerer


The unhappiness of people is due to their ignorance of nature.

Baron Paul D'Holbach


Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.

Francis Bacon


A soul who is not close to nature is far away from what is called
spirituality.  In order to be spiritual one must communicate, and
especially one must communicate with nature; one must feel nature.

Hazrat Inayat Khan



I remembered one morning when I discovered a cocoon in the bark
of a tree, just as the butterfly was making a hole in its case
and preparing to come out.  I waited a while, but it was too long appearing
and I was impatient.  I bent over it and breathed on it to warm it.  I warmed it
as quickly as I could and the miracle began to happen before my eyes,
faster than life.  The case opened, the butterfly started slowly crawling out
and I shall never forget my horror when I saw how its wings
were folded back and crumpled; the wretched butterfly tried
with its whole trembling body to unfold them.  Bending over it, I tried
to help it with my breath.  In vain.  It needed to be hatched out patiently
and the unfolding of the wings should be a gradual process in the sun.
Now it was too late.  My breath had forced the butterfly to appear,
all crumpled, before its time.  It struggled desperately and,
a few seconds later, died in the palm of my hand.

That little body is, I do believe, the greatest weight I have
on my conscience.  For I realize today that it is a mortal sin
to violate the great laws of nature.  We should not hurry,
we should not be impatient, but we should confidently
obey the eternal rhythm.

Nikos Kazantzakis
from Zorba the Greek

The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.

John Muir

If I were to name the three most precious resources of life,
I should say books, friends, and nature; and the greatest
of these, at least the most constant
and always at hand, is nature.

John Burroughs


The universe was created in utter perfection and does not need our
help to improve it.  Humanity’s attempts to override nature have
separated us from our source and destroyed what can save us.  A
camera can point to the glory of a pristine forest, but cannot create
it.  No smartphone is smart enough to spin a planet into orbit. God
speaks to us daily, but we rarely take the time to listen.  Nature is
my church.  When I walk in nature I know the Tao.  No building,
altar, or ritual is necessary.  Human beings have created magnificent,
awe-inspiring cathedrals, but none can surpass the wonder of a starry night.

Alan Cohen
The Tao Made Easy


Flowers always make people better, happier and more helpful;
they are sunshine, food and medicine to the soul.

Luther Burbank


I don't ask for the meaning of the song of a bird or the rising of
the sun on a misty morning.  There they are, and they are beautiful.

Pete Hamill



Let us a little permit nature to take her own way;
she better understands her own affairs than we.

Michel de Montaigne


There is nothing like walking to get the feel of a country.
A fine landscape is like a piece of music; it must be taken
at the right tempo.  Even a bicycle goes too fast.

Paul Scott Mowrer

When one tugs at a single thing in nature,
one finds it attached to the rest of the world.

John Muir


The grass is spring green, tall, and full of newborn life, waving
in the breeze.  I can smell its fragrance, and this purely physical
sensation helps me let go of other thoughts and centers me here.

Olga Kharistidi

Background for Humans
Wilferd A. Peterson

In diversity, complexity, surprise, wrath, serenity, destructiveness, magnificence, Nature's wild adventurous spirit is unexcelled.

From dainty rose to giant cactus, from ant to elephant, from fish to human, Nature is infinite in her scope.

Nature is sculptor, inventor, engineer, artist, architect, musician, friend and foe.

As sculptor Nature works on cliffs and canyon walls carving figures and towers, turrets and castles.  Rock erosion is her chisel; rushing, pounding waters are her hammers.

As inventor Nature designs creatures that crawl, climb, leap, fly, jump, run, swim.  They come in endless shapes, sizes, coloring, with fins, fangs, feathers, claws, shells, feelers, stingers.

As engineer Nature creates a limitless universe with watch-like precision.  She controls hundreds of billions of stars and their spinning planets.  Time and tide, night and day, the flow of magnetic currents, light and air are under her command.

As artist Nature splashes color across the vast canvas of the sky with the radiance and splendor of sunrise and sunset.  She arches rainbows against the passing storm, creates flowers and foliage, sets autumn woods on fire with the beauty of turning leaves and touches mountaintops with snow crystals.

As architect Nature builds pillars of clouds, rugged mountain ranges, deep canyons, quiet valleys and towering skyscraper trees.

As musician Nature is maestro to ten thousand bird songs, chirping crickets, howl and roar of wild beasts, buzz of insects, trumpeting of elephants, organ music of the surf--the great symphony of forest and jungle.

As friend, Nature works as a creative partner with us, providing the gifts of soil, seed, sun, rain, minerals, chemicals--the forces, elements and ingredients for the preservation, perpetuation and evolution of life.

As foe, Nature sends floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, sandstorms, earthquakes, relentless, devastating forces, to challenge and test our will to conquer and survive.

Nature creates people's homes on earth.  It is a home of contrasts; of good and evil, beauty and ugliness, tranquility and terror.  The whole natural world is the background against which people play their heroic part in the eternal adventure of their becoming.

I honor the wisdom of life.  I learn from life in all its forms.
The tree teaches me.  The sparrow and the wren sing my song.
I am open to the lessons Life brings me from the earth.
I learn from the wind, from the sun, from the small flowers,
and from the stars.  I walk without arrogance.  I learn from all
I encounter.  I open my mind and heart to the guidance and love
that come to me from the natural world.

Julia Cameron

When I'm out in nature, I feel a stronger sense of gratitude
and awe, and I see more clearly just how beautiful this
world is.  I need that feeling every once in a while if I'm to
keep a clear perspective in my daily life on just what is truly
important and just what isn't.  We nourish our souls when
we get in touch with nature, and our souls are the part
of ourselves that we so often neglect.

tom walsh


Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature.  And that is
because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and
therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.

Max Planck


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I find nature so nourishing.  I love to hike, especially in the mountains.
When I'm walking in nature, I feel in awe of the wonder of creation.
Nature is full of surprises, always changing, and we must change with it.
In nature, the soul is renewed and called to open and grow.
In the wilderness, you're up against whatever nature brings you--
the dangers as well as the beauty.

Linda Leonard

There is pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar;
I love not people less, but Nature more.

George Gordon

- nature 3 - nature 4

On the Companionship with Nature
Archibald Lampman

Let us be much with Nature; not as they
That labour without seeing, that employ
Her unloved forces, blindly without joy;
Nor those whose hands and crude delights obey
The old brute passion to hunt down and slay;
But rather as children of one common birth,
Discerning in each natural fruit of the earth
Kinship and bond with this diviner clay.
Let us be with her wholly at all hours,
With the fond lover's zest, who is content
If his ear hears, and if his eye but sees;
So shall we grow like her in mould and bent,
Our bodies stately as her blessed trees,
Our thoughts as sweet and sumptuous as her flowers.

Is it the right of our generation, in its selfish materialism, to destroy
nature because we are blinded by the dollar sign?  Beauty--and all
the values that derive from beauty--are not measured
and evaluated in terms of the dollar.

Rachel Carson


Nature is a manifestation of the Love of God.  Regardless
of what we do, Nature continues to love us.  Let us,
therefore, respect and understand what Nature teaches us.

Paulo Coelho
Manuscript Found in Accra


Out in the Fields with God
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

The little cares which fretted me
I lost them yesterday,
Among the fields, above the sea, 
Among the winds at play,
Among the lowing of the herds,
The rustling of the trees,
Among the singing of the birds,
The humming of the bees.
The foolish fear of what might happen,
I cast them all away
Among the clover-scented grass,
Among the new-mown hay,
Among the husking of the corn,
Where drowsy poppies nod
Where ill thoughts die and good are born--
Out in the fields with God.



Found online:

(Found online images come from a variety of unattributed
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not to share!)


Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.