Wisdom from Earth, Sky and Man

I am a donor and subscriber to the Earth Sky News. In today’s issue I found the wise words below, from one of my beloved American philosophers, Walt Whitman. I am possibly as discerning as he seems to have been in my choice of those people I will and won’t allow into my sphere.

I have wonderful friends, near and far, who are buoying me up during this difficult time of my mother’s decline. They give me perspective, offer a helping hand, distract me, and make me laugh when I’m awash in sorrow. I was such a lonely, introverted, oddball youngster. I am so grateful for the friends and family who still count me in among their “favorites.” This community feeds my soul and keeps me looking outward and moving forward.

Those who know me well know I easily get lost in imagination. I am a dreamer at heart, always wondering “what if.” I guess that’s why I prefer Walt Whitman to Walt Disney. Likeblue-skies-white-clouds “Uncle Walt,” for me the natural world (both dependably repetitive and awesomely multi-splendiferous all at once) is the source of my deepest delight and inspiration. The froth of the clouds against the towering blue sky. (Look up! Look up!) The fragile sturdiness of a newborn doe. (You can do it!) The spiral exhalation of an unfolding fern. (Aaaaah.)

chickadee-house
The tiny little (chickadee) house my grandchildren built from a kit year

I was completely blissed out late yesterday afternoon following a morning workout in the High Vista
Community garden. I rested on our back deck facing a chorus of containers packed with popping wild flower seeds and burgeoning veggies. To my right, the squeaky riot of a clutch of chickadees as mama arrived with a plump green grub. To the left the twitter of a hummingbird, as quick and light weight as the bird itself. Warm sun. Cool shade. Intermittent breeze. Heaven soothing my spirit.

Whatever else you “have to do” today, take time to reach out to friends and connect with nature. Feed and soothe your spirit.

This date in science: Walt Whitman’s birthday

Walt Whitman by Thomas Eakins, 1887-88
“Love the earth and sun and the animals … ” – Walt Whitman

May 31, 1819. Walt Whitman might not have approved of having his birthday listed among great dates in science. After all, he was a poet. But this quote by itself caused us to include him:

This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.

Because don’t these ideas remind you of science? Not yet? Then how about this one?

I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.

Walt Whitman as photographed by Matthew Brady.

Poet and journalist Walt Whitman was born May 31, 1819 in West Hills, New York. He is considered to be one of America’s most influential poets, and his collection Leaves of Grass is considered a landmark in American literature.