fall - summer - winter


Every spring is the only spring, a perpetual astonishment.

Ellis Peters


Lord of the springtime, Father of flower, field and fruit, smile on us in these earnest days when the work is heavy and the toil wearisome; lift up our hearts, O God, to the things worthwhile--sunshine and night, the dripping rain, the song of the birds, books and music, and the voices of our friends.  Lift up our hearts to these this night and grant us Thy peace.  Amen.

W.E.B. DuBois

The bud itself is the miracle.  To watch the upthrust of a daffodil, to see it take form as a flower-to-be, to see the bud grow and take on the warmth of color--there is the very synthesis of spring.

And the Spring arose on the garden fair;
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
Rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

If Spring came but once in a century, instead of once a year, or burst forth with the sound of an earthquake, and not in silence, what wonder and expectation there would be in all hearts to behold the miraculous change!  But now the silent succession suggests nothing but necessity.  To most people only the cessation of the miracle would be miraculous and the perpetual exercise of God's power seems less wonderful than its withdrawal would be.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Praise with elation
Praise every morning
Spring's re-creation
Of the First Day!

Eleanor Farjeon


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The air and the earth interpenetrated in the warm gusts of spring;
the soil was full of sunlight, and the sunlight full of red dust.
The air one breathed was saturated with earthy smells,
and the grass under foot had a reflection of blue sky in it.

Willa Cather


In those vernal seasons of the year, when the air is calm and pleasant,
it were an injury and sullenness against Nature not to go out and see
her riches, and partake in her rejoicing with heaven and earth.

John Milton


It was a perfect spring afternoon, and the air was filled with vague,
roving scents, as if the earth exhaled the sweetness of hidden flowers.

Ellen Glasgow



The year's at the spring
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hillside's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn:
God's in his heaven--
All's right with the world.

Robert Browning


Today, look at the blue sky, hear the grass growing beneath your feet,
inhale the scent of spring, let the fruits of the earth linger on your tongue,
reach out and embrace those you love.  Ask Spirit to awaken your
awareness to the sacredness of your sensory perceptions.

Sarah Ban Breathnach


When the snowdrops push their green spears through the earth
I know that spring has arrived, and each year I think what a
miracle it is.  No matter how long the winter, how hard the frost
or how deep the snow, Nature triumphs.  No season is awaited
so eagerly or welcomed so warmly as spring. . . . Each year I
am astonished by the wealth of flowers the season gives us:
the subtlety of the wild primroses and violets, the rich
palette of crocus in the parks, tall soldier tulips
and proud trumpeting daffodils and narcissi.

Sheila Pickles


Nothing is so beautiful as spring--
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush's eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.

What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth's sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden.--Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid's child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

Gerald Manley Hopkins


fall - summer - winter

Parting from the Winter Stove

On the fifth day after the rise of Spring,
Everywhere the season's gracious attitudes!
The white sun gradually lengthening its course,
The blue-grey clouds hanging as thought they would fall;
The last icicle breaking into splinters of jade:
The new stems marshalling red sprouts.
The things I meet are all full of gladness;
It is not only I who love the spring.
To welcome the flowers I stand in the back garden;
To enjoy the sunlight I sit under the front eaves.
Yet still in my heart there lingers one regret;
Soon I shall part with the flame of my red stove!

unattributed Chinese poem, ad 822


Putting In the Seed

You come to fetch me from my work to-night
When supper's on the table, and we'll see
If I can leave off burying the white
Soft petals fallen from the apple tree.

(Soft petals, yes, but not so barren quite,
Mingled with these, smooth bean and wrinkled pea;)
And go along with you ere you lose sight
Of what you came for and become like me,

Slave to a springtime passion for the earth.
How love burns through the Putting in the Seed
On through the watching for that early birth
When, just as the soil tarnishes with weed,

The sturdy seedling with arched body comes
Shouldering its way and shedding the earth crumbs.

Robert Frost


The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another.
The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.

Henry van Dyke


Spring is when you feel like whistling
even with a shoe full of slush.

Doug Larson


"It's so beautiful!" she said, a little breathless with her speed.
"You never saw anything so beautiful!  It has come!  I thought
it had come that other morning, but it was only coming.
It is here now!  It has come, the Spring!"

Frances Hodgson Burnett


Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener
seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer.

Geoffrey B. Charlesworth


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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


If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not
sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.

Anne Bradstreet



I think that no matter how old or infirm I may become, I will
always plant a large garden in the spring.  Who can
resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets
from participating in nature's rebirth?

Edward Giobbi

fall - summer - winter

To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state
of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.

George Santayana

Spring unlocks the flowers that paint the laughing soil.

Reginald Herber


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Spring bursts today,
For love is risen and all the earth's at play.

Christina Rossetti


Quick-growing bloom days when sap flows fast like the swelling streams.
Rising from the dead, the work of the year is pushed on with enthusiasm as
if never done before, as if all God's glory depended upon it; inspiring every
plant, bird, and stream to sing with youth's exuberance, painting flower
petals, making leaf patterns, weaving a fresh roof--all symbols of eternal love.

John Muir
Trails of Wonder



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.



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