The rule of no realm is mine, neither of Gondor nor any other, great or small. But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, those are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail of my task, though Gondor should perish, if anything passes through this night that can still grow fair or bear fruit and flower again in days to come. For I also am a steward. Did you not know? -Gandalf, Lord of the Rings
Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile,
Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods
More free from peril than the envious court?
Here feel we not the penalty of Adam,
The seasons’ difference, as the icy fang
And churlish chiding of the winter’s wind,
Which when it bites and blows upon my body
Even till I shrink with cold, I smile, and say
This is no flattery. These are counsellors
That feelingly persuade me what I am.
’ Sweet are the uses of adversity Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life, exempt from public haunt, Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in stones, and good in everything. I would not change it.
“Be still, my heart, these great trees are prayers.”
~ Rabindranath Tagore
“Blankets of stars cover all things like children of flowers in the garden of God”
“The church says Earth is flat; but I have seen its shadow on the moon, and I have more confidence in a shadow than the church.”
“Watching gardeners label their plants I vow with all beings to practice the old horticulture and let plants identify me.”
~ Robert Aitken, from The Dragon Who Never Sleeps: Verses for Zen Buddhist Practice
“Pay heed to the tales of old wives. It may well be that they alone keep in memory what it was once needful for the wise to know.” – J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)
“What is the good of your stars and trees, your sunrise and the wind, if they do not enter into our daily lives?”
-E. M. Forster
The fowls of the heavens, and of the beasts whatever is beneath the earth, or upon the earth, and the fishes of the sea, these are they that draw you unto the Divine.
Oxyrhynchus Papyri (Gnostic fragments in Greek)