Tag Archives: nature

The 08/20/13 Joy Jar

20 Aug

When walks as opposed to driving or riding on a bus, one notices things. Wood and stone have a beauty that real materials have. There is a beauty to real wood and real wood products. Maybe that is why antiques are so prized is that they are constructed of real materials. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is real wood.

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back.
Steve Jobs

Ultimately, literature is nothing but carpentry. With both you are working with reality, a material just as hard as wood.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“To dwellers in a wood, almost every species of tree has its voice as well as its feature.”
Thomas Hardy, Under the Greenwood Tree

I have little patience with scientists who take a board of wood, look for its thinnest part, and drill a great number of holes where drilling is easy.”
Albert Einstein

Out of defeat can come the best in human nature. As Christians face storms of adversity, they may rise with more beauty. They are like trees that grow on mountain ridges — battered by winds, yet trees in which we find the strongest wood.”
Billy Graham

“Rotten wood cannot be carved”
Chinese Proverb

The 08/19/13 Joy Jar

19 Aug

This wonderful Seattle summer actually had what the meteorologists call measurable precipitation. Rain in Seattle means the air gets cleaned. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is clean air.

Every man needs slaves like he needs clean air. To rule is to breathe, is it not? And even the most disenfranchised get to breathe. The lowest on the social scale have their spouses or their children.
Albert Camus

“The use of sea and air is common to all; neither can a title to the ocean belong to any people or private persons, forasmuch as neither nature nor public use and custom permit any possession therof.”
Elizabeth I Tudor, Letters


Everything needs it: bone, muscles, and even,
while it calls the earth its home, the soul.
So the merciful, noisy machine

stands in our house working away in its
lung-like voice. I hear it as I kneel
before the fire, stirring with a

stick of iron, letting the logs
lie more loosely. You, in the upstairs room,
are in your usual position, leaning on your

right shoulder which aches
all day. You are breathing
patiently; it is a

beautiful sound. It is
your life, which is so close
to my own that I would not know

where to drop the knife of
separation. And what does this have to do
with love, except

everything? Now the fire rises
and offers a dozen, singing, deep-red
roses of flame. Then it settles

to quietude, or maybe gratitude, as it feeds
as we all do, as we must, upon the invisible gift:
our purest, sweet necessity: the air.”
Mary Oliver, Thirst

“What keeps earth air breathable? Not oxygen alone. The earth is a freer place to breathe in, every time you love without calculating a return — every time you make your drudgeries and routines still more inefficient by stopping to experience the shock of beauty wherever it unpredictably flickers.”
Peter Viereck, Unadjusted Man in the Age of Overadjustment: Where History and Literature Intersect

“To keep the air fresh among words is the secret of verbal cleanliness.”
Dejan Stojanovic

“Water belongs to us all. Nature did not make the sun one person’s property, nor air, nor water, cool and clear.”
Michael Simpson, The Metamorphoses of Ovid

“The demons don’t like fresh air. What they like best is if you stay in bed with cold feet.”
Bergman, Ingmar

The 08/15/13 Joy Jar

14 Aug

Moi was on one of her excursions when she saw a sunflower peaking over a big fence like a gigantic happy face. It just seemed to be smiling at everyone who passed. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar” are sunflowers.

“Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men and animals. Some seem to smile; some have a sad expression; some are pensive and diffident; others again are plain, honest and upright, like the broad-faced sunflower and the hollyhock.”
Henry Ward Beecher

“And the yellow sunflower by the brook, in autumn beauty stood.”
William Cullen Bryant

“The gaudy leonine sunflower
Hangs black and barren on its stalk
And down the windy garden walk
The dead leaves scatter – hour by hour”
~Oscar Wilde

“Turn your face to the sun and the shadows follow behind you.”
Maori Proverb

“Light-enchanted sunflower, thou
Who gazest ever true and tender
On the sun’s revolving splendour.”
Pedro Calderon de la Barca,

“As for marigolds, poppies, hollyhocks, and valorous sunflowers, we shall never have a garden without them, both for their own sake, and for the sake of old-fashioned folks, who used to love them.” Henry Ward Beecher

“True friends are
like bright sunflowers
that never fade
away, even over
distance and time.”
Marie Williams Johnstone

“The Sunflow’r, thinking ’twas for him foul shame
To nap by daylight, strove t’ excuse the blame;
It was not sleep that made him nod, he said,
But too great weight and largeness of his head.”
Abraham Cowley

The Sunflower by William Blake
Ah, Sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime,
Where the traveller’s journal done;
Where the youth pined away with desire,
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow,
Arise from their graves, and aspire
Where my Sunflower wishes to go!

“The sunflower is a favorite emblem of constancy.”
Thomas Bulfinch

“I am working with the enthusiasm of a man from Marseilles eating bouillabaisse, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to you because I am busy painting huge sunflowers.”
Vincent Van Gogh

“Fame is the scentless sunflower, with gaudy crown of gold; But friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It’s what sunflowers do.”
Helen Keller

“It is not while beauty and youth are thine own,
And thy cheeks unprofaned by a tear,
That the fervor and faith of a soul may be known,
To which time will but make thee more dear!
Oh the heart that has truly loved never forgets,
But as truly loves on to the close,
As the sunflower turns to her god when he sets
The same look which she turned when he rose!”
~ Thomas Moore

The 08/13/13 Joy Jar

12 Aug

Moi has been walking more lately and she intends to build up her endurance. While walking, she notices that in some areas there are many plants many consider to be weeds. She thought about it and wondered if weeds were important.The Garden Organic blog posted the article, Benefits of Weeds in Farming Systems:
Organic farmers and growers should not be aiming to completely eradicate weeds from their fields and farms. Management rather than complete control is a more realistic and desirable goal. The word ‘management’ emphasises use of appropriate methods to maintain acceptable weed levels that take into account short-term economic and long-term ecological issues.

In spite of all the difficulties caused by weeds, they can offer some beneficial properties, particularly when occurring at low densities. These aspects should be utilised in the farming system, although this may make organic management more complicated than chemical based systems. Some of the potential benefits of weeds are listed below:
• helping to conserve soil moisture and prevent erosion. A ground cover of weeds will reduce the amount of bare soil exposed helping to conserve nutrients, particularly nitrogen which could otherwise be leached away, especially on light soils.
• food and shelter can be provided for natural enemies of pests and even alternative food sources for crop pests. The actual presence of weed cover may be a factor in increasing effectiveness of biological control of pests and reducing pest damage.
• weeds can also be valuable indicators of growing conditions in a field, for example of water levels, compaction and pH.
• weeds can be an important source of food for wildlife, especially birds. Bird populations have been declining on farmland over the last few decades and leaving weeds as a resource has been shown to help revive bird populations… http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/organicweeds/weed_information/weedtype.php?id=-2
Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ are plants considered to be weeds.

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.
Doug Larson

A flower falls, even though we love it; and a weed grows, even though we do not love it.

A weed is no more than a flower in disguise, Which is seen through at once, if love give a man eyes.
James Russell Lowell

They whom truth and wisdom lead, can gather honey from a weed.
William Cowper

Ignorance is an evil weed, which dictators may cultivate among their dupes, but which no democracy can afford among its citizens.
William Beveridge

If we had paid no more attention to our plants than we have to our children, we would now be living in a jungle of weed.
Luther Burbank

Violence is like a weed – it does not die even in the greatest drought.
Simon Wiesenthal

I didn’t want to tell the tree or weed what it was. I wanted it to tell me something and through me express its meaning in nature.
Wynn Bullock

The 07/16/13 Joy Jar

17 Jul

Tonight a thunder storm hurried through Seattle. Thunder and lightening do not occur that often in Seattle. The storm raced through. That got moi thinking about the role of thunder in a life. Thunder charges and then clears the air. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is the thunder which clears the air.

Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work.
Mark Twain

It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.
Frederick Douglass

Life is the fire that burns and the sun that gives light. Life is the wind and the rain and the thunder in the sky. Life is matter and is earth, what is and what is not, and what beyond is in Eternity.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca

“We can never have enough of nature. We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustible vigor, vast and titanic features, the sea-coast with its wrecks, the wilderness with its living and its decaying trees, the thunder-cloud, and the rain.”
Henry David Thoreau

“If the thunder is not loud, the peasant forgets to cross himself.”
Russian Proverb

“Times of great calamity and confusion have been productive for the greatest minds. The purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace. The brightest thunder-bolt is elicited from the darkest storm.”
Charles Caleb Cotton

“Be grateful for luck. Pay the thunder no mind – listen to the birds. And don’t hate nobody.”
Eubie Bla

“Disappointments are to the soul what the thunder-storm is to the air”
Friedrich von Schiller

God speaks to me not through the thunder and the earthquake, nor through the ocean and the stars, but through the Son of Man, and speaks in a language adapted to my imperfect sight and hearing.
William Lyon Phelps

The 07/12/13 Joy Jar

12 Jul

Moi has a couple of watches that she really likes. Watches are all about time, perhaps, with a little bit of fashion thrown in. Time is precious because one can never get it back. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is a realization of the value of time.

Dictionaries are like watches, the worst is better than none and the best cannot be expected to go quite true.
Samuel Johnson

We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse it.
ROALD DAHL, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunderstorm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.
THOMAS MANN, The Magic Mountain

The habit of looking to the future and thinking that the whole meaning of the present lies in what it will bring forth is a pernicious one. There can be no value in the whole unless there is value in the parts.
BERTRAND RUSSELL, Conquest of Happiness

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Poor Richard’s Almanac

Like a petal in the wind
Flows softly by
As old lives are taken
New ones begin
A continual chain
Which lasts throughout eternity
Every life but a minute in time
But each of equal importance

Nothing keeps. There is one law in the universe: NOW.

Indifferent to the affairs of men, time runs out, precise, heedless, exact, and immutable in rhythm.
ERWIN SYLVANUS, Dr. Korczak and the Children

Time is a created thing. To say “I don’t have time” is to say “I don’t want to.”

The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.
LEO TOLSTOY, War and Peace

Time is the great physician.

Time ripens the substance of a life as the seasons mellow and perfect its fruits. The best apples fall latest and keep longest.

The 06/28/13 Joy Jar

28 Jun

Hot weather in Seattle is reletive in comparison to the rest of the country. We don’t have the 110+ weather of las Vegas or Phoenix, but 88 in Seattle makes folk start to complain. Today was the first hot day in Seattle and there promises to be, according to the weather minds, several more days to follow. Even hot and uncomfortable days have their place, they make one appreciate those days when it is not too cold, not too warm, not too rainy, and not too cloudy. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ are hot summer days which make one appreciate perfect temperature days.

A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.
St. Francis of Assisi

Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.
Sam Keen

Summer afternoon – summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.
Henry James

Summer is the time when one sheds one’s tensions with one’s clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all’s right with the world.
Ada Louise Huxtable

What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance.
Jane Austen

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.
Russell Baker

Every summer has a story.


The 06/21/13 Joy Jar

21 Jun


Moi wants to accomplish a couple of things this summer. One a spend time writing and the other is to get healthy. Walking is not only great exercise, but it seems to stimulate one’s creativity. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is the art of long walks.

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.
Henry David Thoreau

I’m a slow walker, but I never walk back.
Abraham Lincoln

Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very fast.
Thomas Jefferson

There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.
Nelson Mandela

The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
John Muir

All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols

The 06/19/13 Joy Jar

19 Jun


Riding on the bus, moi looked at to what could have been a great sunset. Then the sky turned cloudy and the potential was lost. Still, sunsets are some of the most beautiful parts of the day. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ are those beautiful sunsets that just take your breath away.

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
Rabindranath Tagore,
Stray Birds

Soon it got dusk, a grapy dusk, a purple dusk over tangerine groves and long melon fields; the sun the color of pressed grapes, slashed with burgandy red, the fields the color of love and Spanish mysteries.”
Jack Kerouac, On the Road

There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.”

Jo Walton

The point is that when I see a sunset or a waterfall or something, for a split second it’s so great, because for a little bit I’m out of my brain, and it’s got nothing to do with me. I’m not trying to figure it out, you know what I mean? And I wonder if I can somehow find a way to maintain that mind stillness.”
― Chris Evans

It is almost impossible to watch a sunset and not dream.Bern Williams

If I can put one touch of rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman, I shall feel that I have worked with God.”
G.K. Chesterton

The 06/06/13 Joy Jar

6 Jun


One thing that one notices when the sun comes out in Seattle is that there are more people with smiles. Of course, a smile is good rain or shine, but there are definitely more smiles during sunny days. A smile can bring a sunny day to a face that telegraphs they are in the midst of a gray day. Smiles are free. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ are smiles.

True humor springs not more from the head than from the heart. It is not contempt; its essence is love. It issues not in laughter, but in still smiles, which lie far deeper.
Thomas Carlyle

A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles.
Washington Irving

Most smiles are started by another smile.
Frank A. Clark

A smile confuses an approaching frown.


People seldom notice old clothes if you wear a big smile.

Lee Mildon

A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.

Phyllis Diller

What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.
Joseph Addison