Do not despise your own place and hour. Every place is under the stars, every place is the center of the world.
I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. The longer I live, the more my mind dwells upon the beauty and the wonder of the world.
To find the universal elements enough, to find the air and the water exhilarating, to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter... to be thrilled by the stars at night, to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life.
The universe is so unhuman, that is, it goes its way with so little thought of man. He is but an incident, not an end. We must adjust our notions to the discovery that things are not shaped to him, but that he is shaped to them. The air was not made for his lungs, but he has lungs because there is air; the light was not created for his eye, but he has eyes because there is light. All the forces of nature are going their own way; man avails himself of them, or catches a ride as best he can. If he keeps his seat, he prospers; if he misses his hold and falls, he is crushed.
I go to books and to nature as the bee goes to a flower, for a nectar that I can make into my own honey.
I am in love with this world... I have tilled its soil, I have gathered its harvest, I have waited upon its seasons, and always have I reaped what I have sown. I have climbed its mountains, roamed its forests, sailed its waters, crossed its deserts, felt the sting of its frosts, the oppression of its heats, the drench of its rains, the fury of its winds, and always have beauty and joy waited upon my goings and comings.
Nature we have always with us, an in exhaustible store-house of that which moves the heart, appeals to the mind and fires the imagination -- health to the body, a stimulus to the intellect, and joy to the soul.
Summer is more wooing and seductive, more versatile and human, appeals to the affections and the sentiments, and fosters inquiry and the art impulse. Winter is of a more heroic cast, and addresses the intellect. The severe studies and disciplines come easier in winter. One imposes larger tasks upon himself, and is less tolerant of his own weaknesses...The simplicity of winter has a deep moral. The return of nature, after such a career of splendor and prodigality, to habits so simple and austere, is not lost either upon the head or the heart. It is the philosopher coming back from the banquet and the wine to a cup of water and a crust of bread.
Man takes root at his feet, and at best he is no more than a potted plant in his house or carriage till he has established communication with the soil by the loving and magnetic touch of his soles to it.
I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think all the walks I want to take all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see.
A man can get discouraged many times but he is not a failure until he begins to blame somebody else and stops trying.
England is like the margin of a spring-run: near its source, always green, always cool, always moist, comparatively free from frost in winter and from drought in summer.
Man takes root at his feet, and at best, he is no more than a potted plant in his house or carriage till he has established communication with the soil by the loving and magnetic touch of his soles to it.
The Infinite cannot be measured. The plan of Nature is so immense, but she has no plan, no scheme, but to go on and on forever. What is size, what is time, distance, to the Infinite? Nothing. The Infinite knows no time, no space, no great, no small, no beginning, no end.
Nature teaches more than she preaches. There are no sermons in stones. It is easier to get a spark out of a stone than a moral.
When a herd of cattle see a strange object, they are not satisfied till each one has sniffed it; and the horse is cured of his fright at the robe, or the meal-bag, or other object, as soon as he can be induced to smell it. There is a great deal of speculation in the eye of an animal, but very little science.
For anything worth having one must pay the price; and the price is always work, patience, love, self-sacrifice - no paper currency, no promises to pay, but the gold of real service.
The common bees will never use their sting upon the queen; if she is to be disposed of, they starve her to death, and the queen herself will sting nothing but royalty, nothing but a rival queen.
I have discovered the secret of happiness - it is work, either with the hands or the head. The moment I have something to do, the draughts are open and my chimney draws, and I am happy.
Birds and animals probably think without knowing that they think; that is, they have not self-consciousness. Only man seems to be endowed with this faculty; he alone develops disinterested intelligence, intelligence that is not primarily concerned with his own safety and well-being but that looks abroad upon things.
Fear, love, and hunger were the agents that developed the wits of the lower animals, as they were, of course, the prime factors in developing the intelligence of man.
When the woodpecker is searching for food, or laying siege to some hidden grub, the sound of his hammer is dead or muffled and is heard but a few yards. It is only upon dry, seasoned timber, freed of its bark, that he beats his reveille to spring and wooes his mate.
The animal world seizes its food in masses little and big, and often gorges itself with it, but the vegetable, through the agency of the solvent power of water, absorbs its nourishment molecule by molecule.
Without the emotion of the beautiful, the sublime, the mysterious, there is no art, no religion, no literature.
In October, a maple tree before your window lights up your room like a great lamp. Even on cloudy days, its presence helps to dispel the gloom.
Women are about the best lovers of nature, after all; at least of nature in her milder and more familiar forms. The feminine character, the feminine perceptions, intuitions, delicacy, sympathy, quickness, are more responsive to natural forms and influences than is the masculine mind.