Monday, April 27, 2009

BEN Special : Environmental Passages & Quotes April 2009

"Everybody needs beauty ... places to play in and pray in where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul alike." ~ John Muir


"Jesus spoke of mustard seeds, fields, vineyards, sheep, birds and trees.  He was not removed or distant from creation.  He was involved in it and saw it as the stage for the world's salvation.  He tells his followers to look to the lilies of the fields - they do not toil or reap but they are more wonderfully clothe than Solomon and all his glory.  He looks to the beauty of creation to teach and show us something about God.

I have walked in some of your yards and gardens,  For the most part we take pride in what we can accomplish in our yards and gardens.  We mix dirt with compost, we wait for the spring to wake our yards up, we talk about tomatoes and we tell close friends that the work in the yard is therapy for us.  The interest we take in our yards provides a sense of pleasure, pride and it ties us to the cycle of creation as we watch plants grow, mature and then die.  Maybe seeing the world as a garden that we are in charge of would be helpful to each of us.

.... God's glory is seen in creation and nothing we do matches the beauty and glory of what God has created.  You know this already.  If you watched a plant grow, water flow down a stream, a flower unfold, a bird feather its nest - you know that God's glory and creation are a wonderful gift.  A gift for us to behold and honor.  What Jesus could be teaching us - that as we see creation - we see God's glory."     ~  Excerpts from a sermon delivered by Rev. Huey Gardner, Rector at St. Mary's on the Highlands, Birmingham, Alabama - April 26, 2009


The world was in its prime and time rolled on with accustomed regularity.

The tiny streams among the hills and mountains

shouted with joy and the broad rivers wound their wonted course along

the peaceful valleys.  Many a tall oak had grown from the acorn, 

spread its rich foliage to the summer winds, decayed with age,

and mingled with its mother earth. ~ Choctaw tradition, recorded by Charles Lanman, 1856


"Thousands have lived without love, not one without water." ~ W.H. Auden


"Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed; if we permit the last virgin forests to be turned into comic books and plastic cigarette cases; if we drive the few remaining members of the wild species into zoos or to extinction; if we pollute the last clear air and dirty the last clean streams and push our paved roads through the last of the silence, so that never again will Americans be free in their own country from the noise, the exhausts, the stinks of human and automotive waste…”  ~ Wallace Stegner from "Wilderness Letter"


"I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in."   ~ George Washington Carver


"To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug."  ~Helen Keller


"By reading the scriptures I am so renewed that all nature seems renewed around me and with me. The sky seems to be a pure, a cooler blue, the trees a deeper green. The whole world is charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet."  ~ Thomas Merton


"I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes."  ~ e.e. cummings


"No poem, no painting, no work of man's hand or brain is as marvelous a things as the least of the species of living beings that inhabit the earth.  Each one... is a miracle as far beyond our comprehension as the stars.  We cannot make them, we cannot understand how they were made.  To destroy one... to wipe out  a whole species... for all eternity, is to do so colossal a thing that the mind falters at the thought.  Yet we have done it again and again and again, thoughtlessly, needlessly, wantonly, and cruelly ... many of the species that we have destroyed - or are now destroying - were among the noblest and most beautiful." ~ Herbert Ravenel Sass, Southern Author and Nature Writer


Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them.  Now we face the question whether a still higher "standard of living" is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free.  For us of the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television, and the chance to find a pasque-flower is a right as inalienable as free speech." ~ Aldo Leopold


Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!"  - Robin Williams

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