For as long as I can remember, I've craved the solitude and wonder of nature. As Arbor Day 2016 is upon us, it feels perfectly appropriate to round up some of the best Arbor Day quotes that always remind me how wondrous the natural world is, was, always has been, and always will be, to present for your contemplation.
At eight years old, I recall clearly gathering up too much poster board and too few colored markers to make "Save Our Trees!" signs for the satisfaction that only parading around your house in your underwear chanting to no one in particular can bring. As a native South Floridian, demanding that every parent and child at my fourth grade bus stop sign a petition to preserve the Everglades made perfect sense, though I had no inkling where I would send that petition or who would GAF about it once it was (hypothetically) received. I'm sure my mom has it tucked away somewhere, and although I got a lot of signatures with my favorite purple ink pen, it's now just a fond memory to me.
If you, too, yearn for the crisp mountain air, but would just as quickly take gazing at a tree from a park bench in Midtown, check out these beautiful words strung together by some people who really loved nature, and even talked about it sometimes.
Go hug a tree — it's Arbor Day!
1. "I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery — air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, 'This is what it is to be happy.'" — Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
2. "The Earth has music for those who listen." — George Santayana
3. "The mountains are calling and I must go." — John Muir
4. "Is the spring coming?" he said. "What is it like?""It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine..." — Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
5. "The poetry of the earth is never dead." — John Keats
6. "Love the trees until their leaves fall off, then encourage them to try again next year." — Chad Sugg
7. "What though the radiance which was once so brightBe now forever taken from my sight,Though nothing can bring back the hourOf splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;We will grieve not, rather findStrength in what remains behind;" — William Wordsworth, Ode on the Intimations of Immortality
8. "To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment." — Jane Austen