For hours she had lain in a kind of gentle torpor, not unlike that sweet lassitude which masters one in the hush of a midsummer noon, when the heat seems to have silenced the very birds and insects, and, lying sunk in the tasselled meadow grasses, one looks up through a level roofing of maple-leaves at the vast, shadowless, and unsuggestive blue.
Though a country be sundered, hills and rivers endure; And spring comes green again to trees and grasses Where petals have been shed like tears And lonely birds have sung their grief. ...After the war-fires of three months, One message from home is worth a ton of gold. ...I stroke my white hair. It has grown too thin To hold the hairpins any more.
It is a thought as sweet as heaven to know that in the minds of each of us the may by the fence still blooms in an eternal springtime; that the snowdrop has in our hearts a triple birth, and blooms in three separate minds, faultlessly... So that if all the flowers and grasses and hollows and hills of the old house were razed and mutilated - as they are now, I suppose - we keep them intact in three minds, each depending on the other to supply it with the delicate minutiae of remembrance.
There is only one thing that arouses animals more than pleasure, and that is pain. Under torture you are as if under the dominion of those grasses that produce visions. Everything you have heard told, everything you have read returns to your mind, as if you were being transported, not toward heaven, but toward hell. Under torture you say not only what the inquisitor wants, but also what you imagine might please him, because a bond (this, truly, diabolical) is established between you and him.
The capacity of the mind is broad and huge, like the vast sky. Do not sit with a mind fixed on emptiness. If you do, you will fall into a neutral kind of emptiness. Emptiness includes the sun, moon, stars, and planets, the great earth, mountains and rivers, all trees and grasses, bad people and good people, bad things and good things, heaven and hell; they are all in the midst of emptiness. The emptiness of human nature is also like this.
This is the spot where I will lie When life has had enough of me, These are the grasses that will blow Above me like a living sea. These gay old lilies will not shrink To draw their life from death of mine, And I will give my body's fire To make blue flowers on this vine. "O Soul," I said, "have you no tears? Was not the body dear to you?" I heard my soul say carelessly, "The myrtle flowers will grow more blue.
We should understand well that all things are the work of the Great Spirit. We should know the Great Spirit is within all things: the trees, the grasses, the rivers, the mountains, and the four-legged and winged peoples; and even more important, we should understand that the Great Spirit is also above all these things and peoples. When we do understand all this deeply in our hearts, then we will fear, and love, and know the Great Spirit, and then we will be and act and live as the Spirit intends.
I held a blue flower in my hand, probably a wild aster, wondering what its name was, and then thought that human names for natural things are superfluous. Nature herself does not name them. The important thing is to know this flower, look at its color until the blends becomes as real as a keynote of music. Look at the exquisite yellow flowerettes at the center, become very small with them. Be the flower, be the trees, the blowing grasses. Fly with the birds, jump with a squirrel!
On cool autumn nights, eels hurrying to the sea sometimes crawl for a mile or more across dewy meadows to reach streams that will carry them to salt water.' These are adult eels, silver eels, and this descent that slid down my mind in the fall from a long spring ascent the eels made years ago... sometimes as high as 8, 000 feet above sea level. There they lived without breeding 'for at least 8 years.' In the late summer of the year they reached maturity, they stopped eating, and their dark color vanished. They turned silver; now they are heading to the sea. Down streams to rivers, down rivers to the seas, south in the North Atlantic where they meet, they are returning to the Sargasso Sea, where, in floating sargassum weed in the deepest waters of the Atlantic, they will mate, release their eggs, and die. This, the whole story of eels at which I have just hinted, is extravagant to the extremes, and food for another kind of thought, a thought about the meaning of such wild, incomprehensible gestures. Imagine a chilly night and a meadow; balls of dew droop from the curved grass. All right: the grass at the edge of the meadow begins to tremble and sway. Here come the eels. The largest are five feet long. They stream into the meadow, sift between grasses, veer from your path. There are too many to count. All you see is a silver slither, like twisted ropes of water falling roughly... If I saw that sight, would I live? If I stumbled across it, would I ever set foot out of my door again? Or would I be seized to join that compelling rush, would I cease eating, and pale, and abandon all to start walking?
This is the spot where I will lie When life has had enough of me, These are the grasses that will blow Above me like a living sea. These gay old lilies will not shrink To draw their life from death of mine, And I will give my body's fire To make blue flowers on this vine. "O Soul, " I said, "have you no tears? Was not the body dear to you?" I heard my soul say carelessly, "The myrtle flowers will grow more blue.
She once told him about the mysterious trampled-down places found in fields, which the peasants superstitiously called werewolves' nests. Coming across one of these sites, she fell to her knees and buried her face in the flattened yellow grasses, hoping to inhale the odor of a werewolf, a csorde¡sfarkas. As if his scent was a charm. She smelled nothing but hay burned by the afternoon sun.
To each is given its moment in the blaze, its spark to be surrendered to another when it is sent, so that the blaze may go on. None may deny its spark to the general blaze and live forever. Each is sent to another someday. You are sent; you are on your way. I am sent. To the wolf or the lion or the vulture or the grasses, I am sent. My death is the life of another, and I will stand again in the windswept grasses and look through the eyes of the fox and take the air with the eagle and run in the track of the deer.
There is no thing that with a twist of the imagination cannot be something else. Porpoises risen in a green sea, the wind at nightfall bending the rose- red grasses and you- in your apron hurrying to catch- say it seems to you to be your son. How ridiculous! You will pass up into a cloud and look back at me, not count the scribbling foolish that put wings at your heels, at your knees.
William Carlos Williams
When Great Trees Fall When great trees fall, rocks on distant hills shudder, lions hunker down in tall grasses, and even elephants lumber after safety. When great trees fall in forests, small things recoil into silence, their senses eroded beyond fear. When great souls die, the air around us becomes light, rare, sterile. We breathe, briefly. Our eyes, briefly, see with a hurtful clarity. Our memory, suddenly sharpened, examines, gnaws on kind words unsaid, promised walks never taken. Great souls die and our reality, bound to them, takes leave of us. Our souls, dependent upon their nurture, now shrink, wizened. Our minds, formed and informed by their radiance, fall away. We are not so much maddened as reduced to the unutterable ignorance of dark, cold caves. And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed.
It's splendid how much at home we feel at Pignol's. A tacit complicity at every moment prevails among the regulars here. A process of self-selection operates: starving crooks, thirsty whores, witless grasses working for low-grade cops, middle- class types a bit too willing to conform (leaving aside the pound of black-market meat and the camembert without ration tickets) - all feel too ill at ease here. They've only got to stay away. Along with anyone else who doesn't meet the requirements of this establishment: first and foremost, to keep your trap shut. The war? Past history. The Krauts? Don't know any. Russia? Change at Reaumur. The police? There was a time when they were needed for directing the traffic. At Pignol's, silence constitutes the most important, most difficult and lengthiest induction ordeal. After that, it's a matter of imponderables. It works according to the rule of three: the people who don't get along with the people that I get along with are people I can't get along with. Syllogisms, of course. Now clear out!
The Listeners 'Is there anybody there?' said the Traveller, Knocking on the moonlit door; And his horse in the silence champed the grasses Of the forest's ferny floor. And a bird flew up out of the turret, Above the Traveller's head: And he smote upon the door again a second time; 'Is there anybody there?' he said. But no one descended to the Traveller; No head from the leaf-fringed sill Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes, Where he stood perplexed and still. But only a host of phantom listeners That dwelt in the lone house then Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight To that voice from the world of men: Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair, That goes down to the empty hall, Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken By the lonely Traveller's call. And he felt in his heart their strangeness, Their stillness answering his cry, While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf, 'Neath the starred and leafy sky; For he suddenly smote on the door, even Louder, and lifted his head:- 'Tell them I came, and no one answered, That I kept my word, ' he said. Never the least stir made the listeners, Though every word he spake Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house From the one man left awake: Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup, And the sound of iron on stone, And how the silence surged softly backward, When the plunging hoofs were gone.
Walter de la Mare
Ars Poetica A poem should be palpable and mute As a globed fruit, Dumb As old medallions to the thumb, Silent as the sleeve-worn stone Of casement ledges where the moss has grown- A poem should be wordless As the flight of birds. A poem should be motionless in time As the moon climbs, Leaving, as the moon releases Twig by twig the night-entangled trees, Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves, Memory by memory the mind- A poem should be motionless in time As the moon climbs. A poem should be equal to: Not true. For all the history of grief An empty doorway and a maple leaf. For love The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea- A poem should not mean But be.
In the country whereto I go I shall not see the face of my friend Nor her hair the color of sunburnt grasses; Together we shall not find The land on whose hills bends the new moon In air traversed of birds. What have I thought of love? I have said, "It is beauty and sorrow." I have thought that it would bring me lost delights, and splendor As a wind out of old time... But there is only the evening here, And the sound of willows Now and again dipping their long oval leaves in the water. - from "Betrothed
God bless the lawn mower, he thought. Who was the fool who made January first New Year's Day? No, they should set a man to watch the grasses across a million Illinois, Ohio, and Iowa lawns, and on that morning when it was long enough for cutting, instead of ratchets and horns and yelling, there should be a great swelling symphony of lawn mowers reaping fresh grass upon the prairie lands. Instead of confetti and serpentine, people should throw grass spray at each other on the one day each year that really represents Beginning!
All at once, something wonderful happened, although at first, it seemed perfectly ordinary. A female goldfinch suddenly hove into view. She lighted weightlessly on the head of a bankside purple thistle and began emptying the seedcase, sowing the air with down. The lighted frame of my window filled. The down rose and spread in all directions, wafting over the dam's waterfall and wavering between the tulip trunks and into the meadow. It vaulted towards the orchard in a puff; it hovered over the ripening pawpaw fruit and staggered up the steep faced terrace. It jerked, floated, rolled, veered, swayed. The thistle down faltered down toward the cottage and gusted clear to the woods; it rose and entered the shaggy arms of pecans. At last it strayed like snow, blind and sweet, into the pool of the creek upstream, and into the race of the creek over rocks down. It shuddered onto the tips of growing grasses, where it poised, light, still wracked by errant quivers. I was holding my breath. Is this where we live, I thought, in this place in this moment, with the air so light and wild? The same fixity that collapses stars and drives the mantis to devour her mate eased these creatures together before my eyes: the thick adept bill of the goldfinch, and the feathery coded down. How could anything be amiss? If I myself were lighter and frayed, I could ride these small winds, too, taking my chances, for the pleasure of being so purely played. The thistle is part of Adam's curse. 'Cursed is the ground for thy sake, in sorrow shalt thou eat of it; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.' A terrible curse: But does the goldfinch eat thorny sorrow with the thistle or do I? If this furling air is fallen, then the fall was happy indeed. If this creekside garden is sorrow, then I seek martyrdom. I was weightless; my bones were taut skins blown with buoyant gas; it seemed that if I inhaled too deeply, my shoulders and head would waft off. Alleluia.
A kind of northing is what I wish to accomplish, a single-minded trek towards that place where any shutter left open to the zenith at night will record the wheeling of all the sky's stars as a pattern of perfect, concentric circles. I seek a reduction, a shedding, a sloughing off. At the seashore you often see a shell, or fragment of a shell, that sharp sands and surf have thinned to a wisp. There is no way you can tell what kind of shell it had been, what creature it had housed; it could have been a whelk or a scallop, a cowrie, limpet, or conch. The animal is long since dissolved, and its blood spread and thinned in the general sea. All you hold in your hand is a cool shred of shell, an inch long, pared so thin that it passes a faint pink light. It is an essence, a smooth condensation of the air, a curve. I long for the North where unimpeded winds would hone me to such a pure slip of bone. But I'll not go northing this year. I'll stalk that floating pole and frigid air by waiting here. I wait on bridges; I wait, struck, on forest paths and meadow's fringes, hilltops and banksides, day in and day out, and I receive a southing as a gift. The North washes down the mountains like a waterfall, like a tidal wave, and pours across the valley; it comes to me. It sweetens the persimmons and numbs the last of the crickets and hornets; it fans the flames of the forest maples, bows the meadow's seeded grasses and pokes it chilling fingers under the leaf litter, thrusting the springtails and the earthworms deeper into the earth. The sun heaves to the south by day, and at night wild Orion emerges looming like the Specter over Dead Man Mountain. Something is already here, and more is coming.
I have been in love with painting ever since I became conscious of it at the age of six. I drew some pictures I thought fairly good when I was fifty, but really nothing I did before the age of seventy was of any value at all. At seventy-three I have at last caught every aspect of nature-birds, fish, animals, insects, trees, grasses, all. When I am eighty I shall have developed still further and I will really master the secrets of art at ninety. When I reach a hundred my work will be truly sublime and my final goal will be attained around the age of one hundred and ten, when every line and dot I draw will be imbued with life. - from Hokusai's 'The Art Crazy Old Man
Having a body, we have seen, does not entail knowing a body. Whereas a cow automatically eats whatever grasses supply needed nutrients, people must determine for themselves what to put into their bodies, with the result that there is room to make mistakes. Mistakes arise, in part, from ignorance. Yet ignorance is not the only problem produced by this arrangement. The fact that we are not compelled by our bodies' precise needs-understood as particular kinds of food and drink, rather than food and drink tout court-allows the formation of desires that have little or nothing to do with the needs on which bodily health depends.
Water, wind and birdsong were the echoes in this quiet place of a great chiming symphony that was surging around the world. Knee-deep in grasses and moon daisies, Stella stood and listened, swaying a little as the flowers and trees were swaying, her spirit voice singing loudly, though her lips were still, and every pulse in her body beating its hammer strokes in time to the song.
Walking in the mountain with bare foot, Teasing the flowers with heavy soot, Touching the grasses, climbing the horses, swinging the girls It is joyful, jolly like the flying. Swimming in the rivers, tearing the clothes and burning the shoes Angel of the nature; counting the grasses, touching the flower, teasing the birds
A full moon, although less splendid than that earlier on, lit everything around. Before I reached the point where I would have to leave the road and set off across country, the narrow path I was following seemed suddenly to end and disappear behind a large hedge, and there before me, as if blocking my way, stood a single, tall tree, very dark at first against the transparently clear night sky. Out of nowhere, a breeze got up. It set the tender stems of the grasses shivering, made the green blades of the reeds shudder and sent a ripple across the brown waters of a puddle. Like a wave, it lifted up the spreading branches of the tree and, murmuring, climbed the trunk, and then, suddenly, the leaves turned their undersides to the moon and the whole beech tree (because it was a beech) was covered in white as far as the topmost branch.It was only a moment, no more than that, but the memory of it will last as long as my life lasts.
But the trees seemed to know me. They whispered among themselves and beckoned me nearer. And looking around, I noticed the other small trees and wild plants and grasses had sprung up under the protection of the trees we had placed there. The trees had multiplied! They were moving. In one small corner of the world, Grandfather's dream was coming true and the trees were moving again.
For centuries poets, some poets, have tried to give a voice to the animals, and readers, some readers, have felt empathy and sorrow. If animals did have voices, and they could speak with the tongues of angels-at the very least with the tongues of angels-they would be unable to save themselves from us. What good would language do? Their mysterious otherness has not saved them, nor have their beautiful songs and coats and skins and shells and eyes. We discover the remarkable intelligence of the whale, the wolf, the elephant-it does not save them, nor does our awareness of the complexity of their lives. Their strength, their skills, their swiftness, the beauty of their flights. It matters not, it seems, whether they are large or small, proud or shy, docile or fierce, wild or domesticated, whether they nurse their young or brood patiently on eggs. If they eat meat, we decry their viciousness; if they eat grasses and seeds, we dismiss them as weak. There is not one of them, not even the songbird who cannot, who does not, conflict with man and his perceived needs and desires. St. Francis converted the wolf of Gubbio to reason, but he performed this miracle only once and as miracles go, it didn't seem to capture the public's fancy. Humans don't want animals to reason with them. It would be a disturbing, unnerving, diminishing experience; it would bring about all manner of awkwardness and guilt.
The uniformity of the earth's life, more astonishing than its diversity, is accountable by the high probability that we derived, originally, from some single cell, fertilized in a bolt of lightning as the earth cooled. It is from the progeny of this parent cell that we take our looks; we still share genes around, and the resemblance of the enzymes of grasses to those of whales is a family resemblance.
Lady Katsa, is it?" "Yes, Lord Prince." "I've heard you have one eye green as the Middluns grasses, and the other eye blue as the sky." "Yes, Lord Prince." "I've heard you can kill a man with the nail of your smallest finger." She smiled. "Yes, Lord Prince." "Does it make it easier?" "I don't understand you." "To have beautiful eyes. Does it lighten the burden of your Grace, to know you have beautiful eyes?
It had nothing to do with gear or footwear or the backpacking fads or philosophies of any particular era or even with getting from point A to point B. It had to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles with no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental. It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way.
In a little while they were kissing. In a little while longer, they made their slow sweet love. The iron bed sounded like a pine forest in an ice storm, like a switch track in a Memphis trainyard, like the sweet electrical thunder of habitual love and the tragical history of the constant heart. Auntee finished first, and then Uncle soon after, and their lips were touching lightly as they did. The rain was still falling and the scritch owl was still asleep and the dragonflies were hidden like jewels somewhere in deep brown wet grasses, nobody knew where. Uncle rolled away from his wife and held onto her hand, never let it go, old friend, old partner, passionate wife.
Under torture you are as if under the dominion of those grasses that produce visions. Everything you have heard told, everything you have read returns to your mind, as if you were being transported, not toward heaven, but toward hell. Under torture you say not only what the inquisitor wants, but also what you imagine might please him, because a bond (this, truly, diabolical) is established between you and him... These things I know, Ubertino; I also have belonged to those groups of men who believe they can produce the truth with white-hot iron. Well, let me tell you, the white heat of truth comes from another flame.
Each word, as someone once wrote, contains the universe. The visible carries all the invisible on its back. Tonight, in the unconditional, what moves in the long-limbed grasses, what touches me As though I didn't exist? What is it that keeps on moving, a tiny pillar of smoke Erect on its hind legs, loose in the hollow grasses? A word I don't know yet, a little word, containing infinity, Noiseless and unrepentant, in sift through the dry grass.
I glanced up at the trees too. Dead. Every one of them gray and white, needles rusted, leaves shriveled at the tips of branches. All the life sucked out of them. Not just the trees. All the plants, ferns, grasses and brush were shriveled, brown, barren. As if a month of winter had set down right here in my driveway and gone on a killing spree... "Love what you've done with the landscape, " Cody said. "You could open your own business, you know."... "The hell you talking about, Miller?" I asked Cody. "Yard care. You're poison and weed whacker all in one. You can call it Death to All Shrubbery.
Powerful I am a form of God's design! I will have whatever my mind is set on; I will be whatever my desire is to be, Around me rolls the power of universe. I stand to gaze and praise myself loud, For my greetings waits the entire nature, I have made choices out of my self-love I have held to thoughts to please my own I have taken charted plans to make beautiful way Where I live in a closet of peace with spiritual gain I have the power to change darkness into dazzling light, I have the courage to struggle for my deserving right. With my choices I ride ahead to capture vision and goals But it seems life still loves the green grasses and games, Then I fear as I deceive myself and cheat my knowing Soul, For greed of wants, desires I manipulate my Divine own. But the joke is still I achieve what I want in a better way, No one knows how happy I am to be in this humble way, Past is gone and it better leaves me alone for now, My true romance is only with my dear lovely future. I have strength of ocean within me and power of God, Who dares to break me down will never be able to at all, I am the most beautiful design created by my God, His infinite power and tender heart inherited by me... the powerful one - Harshada Pathare
But then he saw it, then he saw what he had known he was seeing and could not accept. There in the night, amid the mist, upon the flat of the plains, the shimmer of light from Allear was not right. The grasses were too flat, the mists curled awkwardly, as if impeded by some large mass and then the glamor was gone, the trick revealed. And before Thorin's very eyes, a mass of soldiers appeared - thousands of them - wearing black and facing his camp. Doom settled around Thorin like some shroud for a watery grave. 'Ah, bloody hell.
I see my life as a part of the earth, a patch of ground to be cultivated. This field I have chosen to call joy. What grows in the field will be some grasses called happiness, and some called anguish, sadness, and disappointment. They are not permanent. They grow, wither and die. But the field of my being remains joyful.
He plunged into the foliage, and was swept into a humid, wet world of towering trees, animal chirps and thick ferns. After a few steps, he turned, and could barely make out the village. He walked a few more steps. He could see nothing now except for the thick trees and long ferns and grasses that surrounded him. He was enveloped into the confined space between trees, surrounded by the jungle heat and staccato chirps. He turned in the direction of the village, but could only see thick, dense trees. Hoping his sense of direction had not been muddled, he turned back around to the direction of the alleged ocean, and kept walking. Now the calls he heard sounded more and more strange. How far had he walked by now? The jungle, or rain forest, whatever it was, did not relent, and he kept on weaving into narrow gaps between the sturdy ferns and towering trees, pressing onwards. This continued for a seemingly oppressive amount of time, and he began to doubt his decision. To come to this place. To take a chance with his life, which was going in the right direction. Why couldn't he be happy with the normal and mundane, he cursed, scolding his own stubbornness
MCMXIV Those long uneven lines Standing as patiently As if they were stretched outside The Oval or Villa Park, The crowns of hats, the sun On moustached archaic faces Grinning as if it were all An August Bank Holiday lark; And the shut shops, the bleached Established names on the sunblinds, The farthings and sovereigns, And dark-clothed children at play Called after kings and queens, The tin advertisements For cocoa and twist, and the pubs Wide open all day- And the countryside not caring: The place names all hazed over With flowering grasses, and fields Shadowing Domesday lines Under wheat's restless silence; The differently-dressed servants With tiny rooms in huge houses, The dust behind limousines; Never such innocence, Never before or since, As changed itself to past Without a word-the men Leaving the gardens tidy, The thousands of marriages, Lasting a little while longer: Never such innocence again.
Instead I just stand there, tears running down my cheeks in nameless emotion that tastes of joy and of grief. Joy for the being of the shimmering world and grief for what we have lost. The grasses remember the nights they were consumed by fire, lighting the way back with a conflagration of love between species. Who today even knows what that means? I drop to my knees in the grass and I can hear the sadness, as if the land itself was crying for its people: Come home. Come home. There are often other walkers here. I suppose that's what it means when they put down the camera and stand on the headland, straining to hear above the wind with that wistful look, the gaze out to sea. They look like they're trying to remember what it would be like to love the world.
Robin Wall Kimmerer
Man had in the beginning no power of analysis or synthesis approaching that of the spider, or even of the honey-bee; he had acute sensibility to the higher forces. Fire taught him secrets that no other animal could learn; running water probably taught him even more, especially in his first lessons of mechanics; the animals helped to educate him, trusting themselves into his hands merely for the sake of their food, and carrying his burdens or supplying his clothing; the grasses and grains were academies of study.
I have sat here happy in the gardens, Watching the still pool and the reeds And the dark clouds. . . . But though I greatly delight In these and the water lilies, That which sets me nighest to weeping Is the rose and white colour of the smooth flag-stones, And the pale yellow grasses Among them.
Artificial selection turned the wolf into the shepherd, and the wild grasses into wheat and corn. In fact, almost every plant and animal that we eat today was bred from a wild, less edible ancestor. If artificial selection can work such profound changes in only ten or fifteen thousand years, what can natural selection do operating over billions of years? The answer is all the beauty and diversity of life.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
When we complain of having to do the same thing over and over, let us remember that God does not send new trees, strange flowers and different grasses every year. When the spring winds blow, they blow in the same way. In the same places the same dear blossoms lift up the same sweet faces, yet they never weary us. When it rains, it rains as it always has. Even so would the same tasks which fill our daily lives put on new meanings if we wrought them in the spirit of renewal from within--a spirit of growth and beauty.
Since the age of six, I have had a passion for drawing things. Now that I am 75 years, I have finally learned something of the true quality of birds, animals, insects, fishes, and of the vital nature of grasses and trees. By the time I am 89, I shall have made more progress. By the time I am 90, I shall understand the deeper meaning of things. When I am 100, I shall be truly marvelous; and at 110 each dot and each line will possess a life of its own.
The wealth of any ecosystem is its perennials. The primal herbivore-predator-disturbance-rest dance is literally the breath and pulse of the earth. Grasses recycle oxygen far more efficiently than trees. The turnover is faster. Grass reaches out and turns solar energy into carbon. Tillage hyper-aerates the soil, burning out carbon. But because a plant creates bilateral symmetry at the soil horizon, it sloughs off root mass when the top gets chopped off.
There had been a popular joke on Freedom, started by a man named Calder. Looking down from space, he had said, the dominant life forms on Earth were obviously the cereals and other grasses. They occupied all the most desirable and fertile land; and they had tamed insects and animals to care for them. In particular, they had domesticated the bipeds to nurture and cultivate them and to save and plant their seed. Now, watching the farmers, Alex could easily imagine that they were worshiping and genuflecting before their masters.
Her father had taught her about hands. About a dog's paws. Whenever her father was alone with a dog in a house he would lean over and smell the skin at the base of its paw. This, he would say, as if coming away from a brandy snifter, is the greatest smell in the world! A bouquet! Great rumours of travel! She would pretend disgust, but the dog's paw was a wonder: the smell of it never suggested dirt. It's a cathedral! her father had said, so-and-so's garden, that field of grasses, a walk through cyclamen--a concentration of hints of all the paths the animal had taken during the day.
What a difference that extra 120 ppm has made for plants, and for animals and humans that depend on them. The more carbon dioxide there is in the atmosphere, the more it is absorbed by plants of every description - - and the faster and better they grow, even under adverse conditions like limited water, extremely hot air temperatures, or infestations of insects, weeds and other pests. As trees, grasses, algae and crops grow more rapidly and become healthier and more robust, animals and humans enjoy better nutrition on a planet that is greener and greener.
The trees bathed their great heads in the waves of the morning, while their roots were planted deep in gloom; save where on the borders of the sunshine broke against their stems, or swept in long streams through their avenues, washing with brighter hue all the leaves over which it flowed; revealing the rich brown of the dacayed leaves and fallen pine-cones, and the delicate greens of the long grasses and tiny forests of moss that covered the channel over which it passed in the motionless rivers of light.
I return to the newborn world, and the soft-soil fields, What their first birthing lifted to the shores Of light, and trusted to the wayward winds. First the Earth gave the shimmer of greenery And grasses to deck the hills; then over the meadows The flowering fields are bright with the color of springtime, And for all the trees that shoot into the air.
Do not be troubled because you have not great virtues. God made a million spears of grass where He made one tree. The earth is fringed and carpeted, not with forests, but with grasses. Only have enough of little virtues and common fidelities, and you need not mourn because you are neither a hero or a saint.
Henry Ward Beecher
Autobiography, if there really is such a thing, is like asking a rabbit to tell us what he looks like hopping through the grasses of the field. How would he know? If we want to hear about the field on the other hand, no one is in a better circumstance to tell us-so long as we keep in mind that we are missing all those things the rabbit was in no position to observe.
Today is the day when bold kites fly, When cumulus clouds roar across the sky. When robins return, when children cheer, When light rain beckons spring to appear. Today is the day when daffodils bloom, Which children pick to fill the room, Today is the day when grasses green, When leaves burst forth for spring to be seen.
It is not easy for a man to be as great as a mountain or a forest. But that is why the creator gave them to us as teachers. Now that I am old I Iook once more toward them for lessons, instead of trying to understand the ways of men. They tell me to be patient. They tell me I cannot change what is, I can only hope to change what will become. Let the grasses grow over our scars, they say, and let flowers bloom over our wounds.
Candleford Green was but a small village and there were fields and meadows and woods all around it. As soon as Laura crossed the doorstep, she could see some of these. But mere seeing from a distance did not satisfy her; she longed to go alone far into the fields and hear the birds singing, the brooks tinkling, and the wind rustling through the corn, as she had when a child. To smell things and touch things, warm earth and flowers and grasses, and to stand and gaze where no one could see her, drinking it all in.
The Zebra is striped all over so that the Lion can see him and eat him. Some people say he is striped so that the Lion can not see him. These people believe that the stripes of the Zebra simulate the bars of sunlight falling through the tall jungle grasses and that therefore the Zebra is invisible and that the earth is flat.