It’s not that I don’t appreciate summer: I do. I love it deeply, from the first rich flush of hawthorn blossoms to the last fading mauves of August heather. I love the green and the growing, the treasures of the hedgerows, and the always astonishing abundance of the land which surrounds me. It’s just that I love autumn and winter more. Something opens up in me then – something soft and deep and glowing – which is far too shy to expose itself to the inexhaustible light of summer.
~ Sharon Blackie, The Enchanted Life
Without attention, the human sense of wonder and the holy will stir occasionally, but to become a steady flame it must be tended.
~ Huston Smith
Understanding is not conceptual, and therefore cannot be passed on. It is an immediate experience, and immediate experience can only be talked about (very inadequately), never shared. Nobody can actually feel another’s pain or grief, another’s love or joy or hunger. And similarly nobody can experience another’s understanding of a given event or situation… We must always remember that knowledge of understanding is not the same thing as the understanding, which is the raw material of that knowledge. It is as different from understanding as the doctor’s prescription for penicillin is different from penicillin.
Understanding is not inherited, nor can it be laboriously acquired. It is something which, when circumstances are favorable, comes to us, so to say, of its own accord. All of us are knowers, all the time; it is only occasionally and in spite of ourselves that we understand the mystery of given reality.
~ Aldous Huxley
… holiness is made of dailiness, of living life as it comes to me, not as I insist it be.
~ Joan Chittister, The Gift of Years
This is the first, the wildest and the wisest thing I know: that the soul exists and is built entirely out of attentiveness.
~ Mary Oliver
Awe and wonder are the same emotion, but with a slightly different twist, because wonder is only connected to positive emotion and awe is the same emotion, but with negative — or not “negative”, but scarier thoughts associated with it. So to describe what wonder and awe and astonishment are, they are the emotion that arises in one in the face of something so vast and so powerful and so transcendent and so unexpected that it makes one rethink what you’re looking at, because you can’t comprehend it. You can’t quite take it in on one side.
~ Fabiana Fondevila
There’s a line by John Clare that I adore — I love John Clare; I revere him — “Poets love nature and themselves are love.” And I believe that with all my heart. And part of writing is adoration. For me, celebrating the wildflowers or the birds is like a kind of worship.
~ Michael Longley, in an interview with Krista Tippet, On Being (2016)