Just that you do the right thing. The rest doesn’t matter. Cold or warm. Tired or well-rested. Despised or honored. Dying… or busy with other assignments. Because dying, too, is one of our assignments in life. There as well: “To do what needs doing.” Look inward. Don’t let the true nature of anything elude you.
Only there, delight and stillness… when jarred, unavoidably, by circumstances, revert at once to yourself, and don’t lose the rhythm more than you can help. You’ll have a better grasp of harmony if you keep going back to it.
~ Marcus Aurelius, The Meditations
Birthdays! What music in the world! In these unresting times, when nothing intellectual, economic, social, political, seems stable; when customs and traditions hoary with age are mixed with explosive elements, this oldest of institutions is not in danger of yielding to destructive forces.
~J.R. Macduff, Birthdays, 1893
Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.
~ Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder
We do not understand the earth in terms either of what it offers us or of what it requires of us, and I think it is the rule that people inevitably destroy what they do not understand.
~ Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays
In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth.
~ Rachel Carson
Bless the poets, the workers for justice, the dancers of ceremony, the singers of heartache, the visionaries, all makers and carriers of fresh meaning—We will all make it through, despite politics and wars, despite failures and misunderstandings. There is only love.
~ Joy Harjo, Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings: Poems
All you can do is this: Whatever you experience, whether tangible or intangible, look underneath the experience, like a child looking for a lizard under a stone. You’re not expecting anything to be there, but you’re always wondering if there might be.
~ Richard Leviton
The waves broke and spread their waters swiftly over the shore. One after another they massed themselves and fell; the spray tossed itself back with the energy of their fall. The waves were steeped deep-blue save for a pattern of diamond-pointed light on their backs which rippled as the backs of great horses ripple with muscles as they move. The waves fell; withdrew and fell again, like the thud of a great beast stamping.
~ Virginia Woolf, The Waves