All man has to do is cooperate with the big forces, the sun, the rain, the growing urge. Seeds sprout, stems grow, leaves spread in the sunlight. Man plants, weeds, cultivates and harvests. It sounds simple, and it is simple, with the simplicity of great truths.
The longer I live and the more I read, the more certain I become that the real poems about spring aren't written on paper. They are written in the back pasture and the near meadow, and they are issued in a new revised edition every April.
Time after time ... today's crisis shrinks to next week's footnote to a newly headline disaster.
Of all the seasons, autumn offers the most to man and requires the least of him.
If you ever wondered why fishing is probably the most popular sport in this country, watch that boy beside on the water and you will learn. If you are really perceptive you will. For he already knows that fishing is only one part fish.
He who walks may see and understand. You can study all America from one hilltop, if your eyes are open and your mind is willing to reach. But first you must walk to that hill.
Time has its own dimensions, and neither the sun nor the clock can encompass them all.
There is a leisure about walking, no matter what pace you set, that lets down the tension.
Consider the wheelbarrow. It may lack the grace of an airplane, the speed of an automobile, the initial capacity of a freight car, but its humble wheel marked out the path of what civilization we still have.
Man is wise and constantly in quest of more wisdom; but the ultimate wisdom, which deals with beginnings, remains locked in a seed.
Two sounds of autumn are unmistakable...the hurrying rustle of crisp leaves blown along the street...by a gusty wind, and the gabble of a flock of migrating geese.
Man is not an aquatic animal, but from the time we stand in youthful wonder beside a Spring brook till we sit in old age and watch the endless roll of the sea, we feel a strong kinship with the waters of this world.
The earth turns, and the seasons, and for all his pride and power man cannot temper the winds or change their course. They are the unseen tides that shape our days and our years.
Nothing in nature is as simple as it sometimes seems when reduced to words.
To see a hillside white with dogwood bloom is to know a particular ecstasy of beauty, but to walk the gray Winter woods and find the buds which will resurrect that beauty in another May is to partake of continuity.
The earth's distances invite the eye. And as the eye reaches, so must the mind stretch to meet these new horizons. I challenge anyone to stand with autumn on a hilltop and fail to see a new expanse not only around him, but in him, too.
All our yesterdays are summarized in our now, and all the tomorrows are ours to shape.
If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees.
You can't be suspicious of a tree, or accuse a bird or a squirrel of subversion or challenge the ideology of a violet.
To know after absence the familiar street and road and village and house is to know again the satisfaction of home.
No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.
Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.
Any river is really the summation of the whole valley. To think of it as nothing but water is to ignore the greater part.
October is the fallen leaf, but it is also a wider horizon more clearly seen.
He who travels west travels not only with the sun but with history.
There are some things, but not too many, toward which the countryman knows he must be properly respectful if he would avoid pain, sickness and injury. Nature is neither punitive nor solicitous, but she has thorns and fangs as wells as bowers and grassy banks.
For all his learning or sophistication, man still instinctively reaches towards that force beyond. Only arrogance can deny its existence, and the denial falters in the face of evidence on every hand. In every tuft of grass, in every bird, in every opening bud, there it is.
Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.
March is a tomboy with tousled hair, a mischievous smile, mud on her shoes and a laugh in her voice.
The ultimate wisdom which deals with beginnings, remains locked in a seed. There it lies, the simplest fact of the universe and at the same time the one which calls faith rather than reason.
Catch a vista of maples in that long light and you see Autumn glowing through the leaves.... The promise of gold and crimson is there among the branches, though as yet it is achieved on only a stray branch, an impatient limb or an occasional small tree which has not yet learned to time its changes.
There are no idealists in the plant world and no compassion. The rose and the morning glory know no mercy. Bindweed, the morning glory, will quickly choke its competitors to death, and the fencerow rose will just as quietly crowd out any other plant that tried to share its roothold. Idealism and mercy are human terms and human concepts.
A root, a stem, a leaf, some means of capturing sunlight and air and making food - in sum, a plant. The green substance of this earth, the chlorophyll, is all summed up in the plants. Without them we perish, all of us who are flesh and blood.
Each new season grows from the leftovers from the past. That is the essence of change, and change is the basic law.
For the Fall of the year is more than three months bounded by an equinox and a solstice. It is a summing up without the finality of year's end.
If the voice of the brook was not the first song of celebration, it must have been at least an obbligato for that event.
A snowdrift is a beautiful thing - if it doesn't lie across the path you have to shovel or block the road that leads to your destination.
A woodland in full color is awesome as a forest fire, in magnitude at least, but a single tree is like a dancing tongue of flame to warm the heart.
There are two seasonal diversions that can ease the bite of any winter. One is the January thaw. The other is the seed catalogues.
Summer ends, and Autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night.