While this blog is not political in nature, I cannot in good conscience ignore current events in the United States. As each of us looks individually for answers to the problems faced by all of us as a nation, please consider the words of this great man:
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
“If you reconnect with nature and the wilderness you will not only find the meaning of life but you will experience what it means to be truly alive.”
~ Sylvia Dolson, Joy of Bears
(Quote Source: goodreads.com)
When news of the day and troubles in the world start to get me down, I return to nature to remember the many blessings that still exist all around me. This year I have had the joy of watching a pair of Eastern Bluebirds set up house on my property. Watching them has been a delight!
“I don’t feed the birds because they need me; I feed the birds because I need them.”
~ Kathi Hutton
(Quote Source: goodreads.com)
(Purple finch and pine siskin at my feeder.)
I ran across today’s quote while perusing the site goodreads.com. According to the site, Ms. Hutton has not written any books and there was little else listed about her. I wanted to use her quote, however, because it was encouraging for me to know that someone else in the world feels like I do about feeding the birds.
“The flower is the poetry of reproduction. It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life.”
~Jean Giradoux (1882-1944) French playwright, novelist, and diplomat
The selection of perennial plants for a Minnesota garden can prove a challenge. Gardeners must always keep in mind that plants will have to survive the cold of our winters. Every spring when my P.J.M. Rhododendron blooms again my heart does a little dance. It is a welcome reminder of the warmer and more colorful days ahead.
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”
~Desmond Tutu (1931- ) South African social rights activist and retired Anglican bishop
Here are chunks of ice melting at the edge of a local pond. I have often enjoyed the way the sunshine plays with both the water and the ice at the end of winter. To me, the color and textures can be similar to the bright shine of diamonds.
“There is more to life than increasing its speed.”
~Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) Anti-war activist and Indian nationalist
Visiting a local conservatory can be a welcome and uplifting break from the days of winter that are cold and drab. This was taken at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory located in Como Park of Saint Paul, Minnesota.
“I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.”
~Andrew Wyeth, (1917-2009) American artist
This place currently covered by a blanket of snow looks so still and quiet. Once spring arrives, however, the ice will melt to free the water in the pond. The trees will blossom, the birds will arrive to nest, and color will return. Life will begin anew.
I now interrupt the winter season to remind everyone of summer. Watching the news about the snowstorm on the east coast has me thinking that it may be time for a brief respite from all that white stuff!
I now return you to your regularly scheduled season.
“We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in. For it can be a means of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope.”
~Wallace Stegner (American writer, historian, and environmentalist), 1960, from a letter written to the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission
There are aspects to nature that bring me comfort, like knowing the sun will rise each morning regardless of anything that happens the day before. It is entirely up to me whether I choose to focus upon the clouds that occasionally appear.
“Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend… when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present — love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure — the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth.”
~Sarah Ban Breathnach, Author of Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy (first published in 1995)
“Birds are important because they keep systems in balance: they pollinate plants, disperse seeds, scavenge carcasses and recycle nutrients back into the earth. But they also feed our spirits, marking for us the passage of the seasons, moving us to create art and poetry, inspiring us to flight and reminding us that we are not only on, but of, this earth.”
~Melanie Driscoll, Director of bird conservation for the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi Flyway