Friends of Silence: April 2012

Vol. XXV, No. 4

"Is there enough Silence for the Word to be heard?"

Warm, spring greetings, dear friends! The earth is waking around us and the sweet notes of birdsong return to our early morning silence. What better time to recall Nan Merrill's beautiful words in the April 2008 FOS:

"To spend time in Nature's tapestry of Life is like opening an amazing gift: an instruction book of Love and Life given to us by the Creator, Source of All Being. Here we can see how we participate in the seasons of our lives, the interplay and interconnectedness of all things that sustain our lives, the beauty and wisdom of unity in diversity, and the intricate patterns of every form of life. Celebrating, honoring, and learning from this Divine Gift is in a very real sense to reverence our own lives and the life of the planet, which depend on Nature's abundant bounty. May we share and care for Nature's gifts with equity and gratitude. May we gift ourselves with times in the Silence while basking in some of Nature's sacred settings, even if it be in our own backyard. Here, peace, harmony, and renewal will be sure to nest in your heart."

We do not see nature with our eyes, but with our understanding and our hearts . . .

~ William Hazlitt

The grand show is eternal.
It is always sunrise somewhere;
the dew is never dried all at once;
a shower is forever falling;
vapor is ever rising.
Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming,
on sea and continents and islands,
each in its turn,
as the round earth rolls.

~ John Muir


Every spring Nature writes a fresh, new chapter in the Book of Genesis.

~ Anonymous

What we are looking for on earth and in earth and in our lives is the process that can unlock for us the mystery of meaningfulness in our daily lives. It has been the best-kept secret down through the ages because it is so simple. Truly, the last place it would ever occur to most of us to find the sacred would be in the commonplace of our everyday lives and all about us in nature and in simple things.

~ From THE DOVE IN THE STONE by Alice O. Howell

If you only sit and reflect on the wonders of nature,
you will gradually begin to feel that everything
happens by divine will and power.

~ Papa Ramdas

Spring can be the most difficult season of the year catching us between the rising tide of life and the damp caverns of memory that lie among the sleepy roots of our being. It is time to attend the soil that has lain fallow for many months—we are, after all, animated ground. April can be an agitating month, leaving us to ride out this new, insistent life from places inside us never before reached. Kites, in the driven skies, tug at thin strings that tether them to earth, just as our souls tug at our bodies. Swallows and purple martins dive heart-stoppingly into the emptiness. Something light and lithe in us responds. . . . We are, after all, much more than rational beings.

~ from AN ALMANAC FOR THE SOUL by Marv and Nancy Hiles

Summer evenings –
Walking this garden path
Through bird-song
And fireflys
Into silence.

~ Ronald Willis


Nature has some perfections, to show us that she is the image of God; and some imperfections to show us that she is only God's image. . . .

~ Blaise Pascal

in the world
is usual today.
This is
the first morning.

Come quickly -- as soon as
these blossoms open,
they fall.
This world exists
as a sheen of dew on flowers.

~ Izumi Shikibu (Japan, b 974?),thanks to Maureen Flannery

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.

~ Anne Frank

I know of no sculpture, painting or music that exceeds the compelling spiritual command of the soaring shape of granite cliff and dome, of patina of light on rock and forest, and of the thunder and whispering of the falling, flowing waters.

~ Ansel Adams

I think joy and sweetness and affection are a spiritual path. We're here to know God, to love and serve God, and to be blown away by the beauty and miracle of nature. You just have to get rid of so much baggage to be light enough to dance, to sing, to play. You don't have time to carry grudges; you don't have time to cling to the need to be right.

~ Anne Lamott, quoted in "The Washington Times," thanks to Liz Stewart

To the dull mind nature is leaden. To the illumined mind
the whole world burns and sparkles with light.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature is the signature of God.

~ Coqosh Auh-Ho-Oh

I know the thrill of the grasses when the rain pours over them.

I know the trembling of the leaves when the winds sweep through them.

I know what the white clover felt as it held a drop of dew pressed close in its beauteousness.

I know the quivering of the fragrant petals at the touch of the pollen-legged bees.

I know what the stream said to the dipping willows, and what the moon said to the sweet lavender.

I know what the stars said when they came stealthily down and crept fondly into the tops of the trees.

~Muriel Strode, "Creation Songs"