Gardening as a form of worship

“To bring us to our knees.
To bring us back to quiet.
Inclined as we are
to this labor and attention.

Where there’s little
choice but to begin
with the intensive
care of the present.

Grub up the dying,
start with something new.
Deprive the bad
and nurture the good.

Simple stuff it seems
at first, herbs drying,
a red flood ripening
upon a cool and shady sill.

The blue cold’s cluster
in the morning glory vines.
The ardor of the marigold
gone ethereally green.”

~ Bruce Taylor
Morning-Glory-Flowers-in-Garden

Let’s remake the world

“Let’s remake the world with words.
Not frivolously, nor
To hide from what we fear,
But with a purpose.

Let’s,
As Wordsworth said, remove
“The dust of custom” so things
Shine again, each object arrayed
In its robe of original light.

And then we’ll see the world
As if for the first time.
As once we gazed at the beloved
Who was gazing at us.”

~ Gregory Orr

See the world

The whole of nature

“A human being is part of the whole, called by ‘Universe’; a part
limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts
and feelings, as something separated from the rest, a kind of
optical delusion of our 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.”

~ Albert Einstein

beautiful-nature

The toad

“I was walking by. He was sitting there.
It was full morning, so the heat was heavy on his sand-colored
head and his webbed feet. I squatted beside him, at the edge
of the path. He didn’t move.
I began to talk. I talked about summer, and about time. The
pleasures of eating, the terrors of the night. About this cup
we call a life. About happiness. And how good it feels, the
heat of the sun between the shoulder blades.
He looked neither up nor down, which didn’t necessarily
mean he was either afraid or asleep. I felt his energy, stored
under his tongue perhaps, and behind his bulging eyes.
I talked about how the world seems to me, five feet tall, the
blue sky all around my head. I said, I wondered how it seemed
to him, down there, intimate with the dust.
He might have been Buddha — did not move, blink, or frown,
not a tear fell from those gold-rimmed eyes as the refined
anguish of language passed over him”

~ Mary Oliver

American_Toad_2

Exploration

“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always —
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.”

~ T.S. Eliot

waterfall

Country Summer

“Now the rich cherry, whose sleek wood,
And top with silver petals traced
Like a strict box its gems encased,
Has spilt from out that cunning lid,
All in an innocent green round,
Those melting rubies which it hid;
With moss ripe-strawberry-encrusted,
So birds get half, and minds lapse merry
To taste that deep-red, lark’s-bite berry,
And blackcap bloom is yellow-dusted.

The wren that thieved it in the eaves
A trailer of the rose could catch
To her poor droopy sloven thatch,
And side by side with the wren’s brood—
O lovely time of beggar’s luck—
Opens the quaint and hairy bud;
And full and golden is the yield
Of cows that never have to house,
But all night nibble under boughs,
Or cool their sides in the moist field.

Into the rooms flow meadow airs,
The warm farm baking smell’s blown round.
Inside and out, and sky and ground
Are much the same; the wishing star,
Hesperus, kind and early born,
Is risen only finger-far;
All stars stand close in summer air,
And tremble, and look mild as amber;
When wicks are lighted in the chamber,
They are like stars which settled there.

Now straightening from the flowery hay,
Down the still light the mowers look,
Or turn, because their dreaming shook,
And they waked half to other days,
When left alone in the yellow stubble
The rusty-coated mare would graze.
Yet thick the lazy dreams are born,
Another thought can come to mind,
But like the shivering of the wind,
Morning and evening in the corn.”

~ Léonie Adams

-Newly-Mown-Hay-

Look carefully

Hokusai Says

“Hokusai says look carefully.
He says pay attention, notice.
He says keep looking, stay curious.
He says there is no end to seeing

He says look forward to getting old.
He says keep changing,
you just get more who you really are.
He says get stuck, accept it, repeat
yourself as long as it is interesting.

He says keep doing what you love.

He says keep praying.

He says every one of us is a child,
every one of us is ancient
every one of us has a body.
He says every one of us is frightened.
He says every one of us has to find
a way to live with fear.

He says everything is alive —
shells, buildings, people, fish,
mountains, trees, wood is alive.
Water is alive.

Everything has its own life.

Everything lives inside us.

He says live with the world inside you.

He says it doesn’t matter if you draw,
or write books. It doesn’t matter
if you saw wood, or catch fish.
It doesn’t matter if you sit at home
and stare at the ants on your veranda
or the shadows of the trees
and grasses in your garden.
It matters that you care.

It matters that you feel.

It matters that you notice.

It matters that life lives through you.

Contentment is life living through you.
Joy is life living through you.
Satisfaction and strength
is life living through you.

He says don’t be afraid.
Don’t be afraid.

Love, feel, let life take you by the hand.

Let life live through you.”

~ Roger Keyes

_trees

Lost

“Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you. ”

~ David Wagoner

lost_in_the_forest_by_silverwing_sparrow-d52cho8