Leaves Falling From Trees Quotes

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You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person died for no reason.
Ernest Hemingway (A Moveable Feast)
And now, my poor old woman, why are you crying so bitterly? It is autumn. The leaves are falling from the trees like burning tears- the wind howls. Why must you mimic them?
Mervyn Peake (Titus Groan (Gormenghast, #1))
You could be the leaf that never falls from the tree you could be the sun that never leaves the sky this might be the happy ending without the ending this might be a reason to try
David Levithan (How They Met, and Other Stories)
I will love you as a thief loves a gallery and as a crow loves a murder, as a cloud loves bats and as a range loves braes. I will love you as misfortune loves orphans, as fire loves innocence and as justice loves to sit and watch while everything goes wrong. I will love you as a battlefield loves young men and as peppermints love your allergies, and I will love you as the banana peel loves the shoe of a man who was just struck by a shingle falling off a house. I will love you as a volunteer fire department loves rushing into burning buildings and as burning buildings love to chase them back out, and as a parachute loves to leave a blimp and as a blimp operator loves to chase after it. I will love you as a dagger loves a certain person’s back, and as a certain person loves to wear dagger proof tunics, and as a dagger proof tunic loves to go to a certain dry cleaning facility, and how a certain employee of a dry cleaning facility loves to stay up late with a pair of binoculars, watching a dagger factory for hours in the hopes of catching a burglar, and as a burglar loves sneaking up behind people with binoculars, suddenly realizing that she has left her dagger at home. I will love you as a drawer loves a secret compartment, and as a secret compartment loves a secret, and as a secret loves to make a person gasp, and as a gasping person loves a glass of brandy to calm their nerves, and as a glass of brandy loves to shatter on the floor, and as the noise of glass shattering loves to make someone else gasp, and as someone else gasping loves a nearby desk to lean against, even if leaning against it presses a lever that loves to open a drawer and reveal a secret compartment. I will love you until all such compartments are discovered and opened, and until all the secrets have gone gasping into the world. I will love you until all the codes and hearts have been broken and until every anagram and egg has been unscrambled. I will love you until every fire is extinguised and until every home is rebuilt from the handsomest and most susceptible of woods, and until every criminal is handcuffed by the laziest of policemen. I will love until M. hates snakes and J. hates grammar, and I will love you until C. realizes S. is not worthy of his love and N. realizes he is not worthy of the V. I will love you until the bird hates a nest and the worm hates an apple, and until the apple hates a tree and the tree hates a nest, and until a bird hates a tree and an apple hates a nest, although honestly I cannot imagine that last occurrence no matter how hard I try. I will love you as we grow older, which has just happened, and has happened again, and happened several days ago, continuously, and then several years before that, and will continue to happen as the spinning hands of every clock and the flipping pages of every calendar mark the passage of time, except for the clocks that people have forgotten to wind and the calendars that people have forgotten to place in a highly visible area. I will love you as we find ourselves farther and farther from one another, where we once we were so close that we could slip the curved straw, and the long, slender spoon, between our lips and fingers respectively. I will love you until the chances of us running into one another slip from slim to zero, and until your face is fogged by distant memory, and your memory faced by distant fog, and your fog memorized by a distant face, and your distance distanced by the memorized memory of a foggy fog. I will love you no matter where you go and who you see, no matter where you avoid and who you don’t see, and no matter who sees you avoiding where you go. I will love you no matter what happens to you, and no matter how I discover what happens to you, and no matter what happens to me as I discover this, and now matter how I am discovered after what happens to me as I am discovering this.
Lemony Snicket
...the meaning of my thoughts started to float away from me, like leaves that fall from a tree into a river, I was the tree, the world was the river.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
I want you to tell me about every person you’ve ever been in love with. Tell me why you loved them, then tell me why they loved you. Tell me about a day in your life you didn’t think you’d live through. Tell me what the word home means to you and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mother’s name just by the way you describe your bedroom when you were eight. See, I want to know the first time you felt the weight of hate, and if that day still trembles beneath your bones. Do you prefer to play in puddles of rain or bounce in the bellies of snow? And if you were to build a snowman, would you rip two branches from a tree to build your snowman arms or would leave your snowman armless for the sake of being harmless to the tree? And if you would, would you notice how that tree weeps for you because your snowman has no arms to hug you every time you kiss him on the cheek? Do you kiss your friends on the cheek? Do you sleep beside them when they’re sad even if it makes your lover mad? Do you think that anger is a sincere emotion or just the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain? See, I wanna know what you think of your first name, and if you often lie awake at night and imagine your mother’s joy when she spoke it for the very first time. I want you to tell me all the ways you’ve been unkind. Tell me all the ways you’ve been cruel. Tell me, knowing I often picture Gandhi at ten years old beating up little boys at school. If you were walking by a chemical plant where smokestacks were filling the sky with dark black clouds would you holler “Poison! Poison! Poison!” really loud or would you whisper “That cloud looks like a fish, and that cloud looks like a fairy!” Do you believe that Mary was really a virgin? Do you believe that Moses really parted the sea? And if you don’t believe in miracles, tell me — how would you explain the miracle of my life to me? See, I wanna know if you believe in any god or if you believe in many gods or better yet what gods believe in you. And for all the times that you’ve knelt before the temple of yourself, have the prayers you asked come true? And if they didn’t, did you feel denied? And if you felt denied, denied by who? I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror on a day you’re feeling good. I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror on a day you’re feeling bad. I wanna know the first person who taught you your beauty could ever be reflected on a lousy piece of glass. If you ever reach enlightenment will you remember how to laugh? Have you ever been a song? Would you think less of me if I told you I’ve lived my entire life a little off-key? And I’m not nearly as smart as my poetry I just plagiarize the thoughts of the people around me who have learned the wisdom of silence. Do you believe that concrete perpetuates violence? And if you do — I want you to tell me of a meadow where my skateboard will soar. See, I wanna know more than what you do for a living. I wanna know how much of your life you spend just giving, and if you love yourself enough to also receive sometimes. I wanna know if you bleed sometimes from other people’s wounds, and if you dream sometimes that this life is just a balloon — that if you wanted to, you could pop, but you never would ‘cause you’d never want it to stop. If a tree fell in the forest and you were the only one there to hear — if its fall to the ground didn’t make a sound, would you panic in fear that you didn’t exist, or would you bask in the bliss of your nothingness? And lastly, let me ask you this: If you and I went for a walk and the entire walk, we didn’t talk — do you think eventually, we’d… kiss? No, wait. That’s asking too much — after all, this is only our first date.
Andrea Gibson
Someday, I would like to go home. The exact location of this place, I don't know, but someday I would like to go. There would be a pleasing feeling of familiarity and a sense of welcome in everything I saw. People would greet me warmly. They would remind me of the length of my absence and the thousands of miles I had travelled in those restless years, but mostly, they would tell me that I had been missed, and that things were better now I had returned. Autumn would come to this place of welcome, this place I would know to be home. Autumn would come and the air would grow cool, dry and magic, as it does that time of the year. At night, I would walk the streets but not feel lonely, for these are the streets of my home town. These are the streets that I had thought about while far away, and now I was back, and all was as it should be. The trees and the falling leaves would welcome me. I would look up at the moon, and remember seeing it in countries all over the world as I had restlessly journeyed for decades, never remembering it looking the same as when viewed from my hometown.
Henry Rollins
And so I ask myself: 'Where are your dreams?' And I shake my head and mutter: 'How the years go by!' And I ask myself again: 'What have you done with those years? Where have you buried your best moments? Have you really lived? Look,' I say to myself, 'how cold it is becoming all over the world!' And more years will pass and behind them will creep grim isolation. Tottering senility will come hobbling, leaning on a crutch, and behind these will come unrelieved boredom and despair. The world of fancies will fade, dreams will wilt and die and fall like autumn leaves from the trees. . . .
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (White Nights)
I will love you with no regard to the actions of our enemies or the jealousies of actors. I will love you with no regard to the outrage of certain parents or the boredom of certain friends. I will love you no matter what is served in the world’s cafeterias or what game is played at each and every recess. I will love you no matter how many fire drills we are all forced to endure, and no matter what is drawn upon the blackboard in blurry, boring chalk. I will love you no matter how many mistakes I make when trying to reduce fractions, and no matter how difficult it is to memorize the periodic table. I will love you no matter what your locker combination was, or how you decided to spend your time during study hall. I will love you no matter how your soccer team performed in the tournament or how many stains I received on my cheerleading uniform. I will love you if I never see you again, and I will love you if I see you every Tuesday. I will love you if you cut your hair and I will love you if you cut the hair of others. I will love you if you abandon your baticeering, and I will love you if you if you retire from the theater to take up some other, less dangerous occupation. I will love you if you drop your raincoat on the floor instead of hanging it up and I will love you if you betray your father. I will love you even if you announce that the poetry of Edgar Guest is the best in the world and even if you announce that the work of Zilpha Keatley Snyder is unbearably tedious. I will love you if you abandon the theremin and take up the harmonica and I will love you if you donate your marmosets to the zoo and your tree frogs to M. I will love you as a starfish loves a coral reef and as a kudzu loves trees, even if the oceans turn to sawdust and the trees fall in the forest without anyone around to hear them. I will love you as the pesto loves the fettuccini and as the horseradish loves the miyagi, as the tempura loves the ikura and the pepperoni loves the pizza. I will love you as the manatee loves the head of lettuce and as the dark spot loves the leopard, as the leech loves the ankle of a wader and as a corpse loves the beak of the vulture. I will love you as the doctor loves his sickest patient and a lake loves its thirstiest swimmer. I will love you as the beard loves the chin, and the crumbs love the beard, and the damp napkin loves the crumbs, and the precious document loves the dampness in the napkin, and the squinting eye of the reader loves the smudged print of the document, and the tears of sadness love the squinting eye as it misreads what is written. I will love you as the iceberg loves the ship, and the passengers love the lifeboat, and the lifeboat loves the teeth of the sperm whale, and the sperm whale loves the flavor of naval uniforms. i will love you as a child loves to overhear the conversations of its parents, and the parents love the sound of their own arguing voices, and as the pen loves to write down the words these voices utter in a notebook for safekeeping. I will love you as a shingle loves falling off a house on a windy day and striking a grumpy person across the chin, and as an oven loves malfunctioning in the middle of roasting a turkey. I will love you as an airplane loves to fall from a clear blue sky and as an escalator loves to entangle expensive scarves in its mechanisms. I will love you as a wet paper towel loves to be crumpled into a ball and thrown at a bathroom ceiling and as an eraser loves to leave dust in the hairdos of people who talk too much. I will love you as a cufflink loves to drop from its shirt and explore the party for itself and as a pair of white gloves loves to slip delicately into the punchbowl. I will love you as the taxi loves the muddy splash of a puddle and as a library loves the patient tick of a clock.
Lemony Snicket
With a chaste heart With pure eyes I celebrate your beauty Holding the leash of blood So that it might leap out and trace your outline Where you lie down in my Ode As in a land of forests or in surf In aromatic loam, or in sea music Beautiful nude Equally beautiful your feet Arched by primeval tap of wind or sound Your ears, small shells Of the splendid American sea Your breasts of level plentitude Fulfilled by living light Your flying eyelids of wheat Revealing or enclosing The two deep countries of your eyes The line your shoulders have divided into pale regions Loses itself and blends into the compact halves of an apple Continues separating your beauty down into two columns of Burnished gold Fine alabaster To sink into the two grapes of your feet Where your twin symmetrical tree burns again and rises Flowering fire Open chandelier A swelling fruit Over the pact of sea and earth From what materials Agate? Quartz? Wheat? Did your body come together? Swelling like baking bread to signal silvered hills The cleavage of one petal Sweet fruits of a deep velvet Until alone remained Astonished The fine and firm feminine form It is not only light that falls over the world spreading inside your body Yet suffocate itself So much is clarity Taking its leave of you As if you were on fire within The moon lives in the lining of your skin.
Pablo Neruda
With so many trees in the city, you could see the spring coming each day until a night of warm wind would bring it suddenly in one morning. Sometimes the heavy cold rains would beat it back so that it would seem that it would never come and that you were losing a season out of your life. This was the only truly sad time in Paris because it was unnatural. You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintry light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person had died for no reason. In those days, though, the spring always came finally but it was frightening that it had nearly failed.
Ernest Hemingway (A Moveable Feast)
A great tree develops over time and can tell stories not only those of happiness, but also those that contain pain from what it has seen over the years, and as a result is the wise ancient tree that it is today. As the seasons change, the tree naturally goes through changes as well: where the leaves turn yellow and orange in the fall, falling by the Winter, returning in the Spring, and with full set of new leafs by the Summer. Love is no different in that there will be times when we are fully naked in the Winter, and left to wonder about Spring when it seemed so easy to love, yet the wise tree knows that no winter will last forever no matter how cold it may be.
Forrest Curran (Purple Buddha Project: Purple Book of Self-Love)
I understood that he left me at the end of his long life just as naturally as the leaves fall from the trees.
Arthur Golden (Memoirs of a Geisha)
Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away; Lengthen night and shorten day; Every leaf speaks bliss to me Fluttering from the autumn tree. I shall smile when wreaths of snow Blossom where the rose should grow; I shall sing when night’s decay Ushers in a drearier day.
Emily Brontë (Bronte: Poems)
And beyond the timeless meadows and emerald pastures, the rabbit holes and moss-covered oak and rowan trees and the "slippy sloppy" houses of frogs, the woodland-scented wind rushed between the leaves and blew around the gray veil that dipped below the fells, swirling up in a mist, blurring the edges of the distant forest. (View from Windermere in the Lake District)
Susan Branch (A Fine Romance: Falling in Love with the English Countryside)
The full moon, well risen in a cloudless eastern sky, covered the high solitude with its light. We are not conscious of daylight as that which displaces darkness. Daylight, even when the sun is clear of clouds, seems to us simply the natural condition of the earth and air. When we think of the downs, we think of the downs in daylight, as with think of a rabbit with its fur on. Stubbs may have envisaged the skeleton inside the horse, but most of us do not: and we do not usually envisage the downs without daylight, even though the light is not a part of the down itself as the hide is part of the horse itself. We take daylight for granted. But moonlight is another matter. It is inconstant. The full moon wanes and returns again. Clouds may obscure it to an extent to which they cannot obscure daylight. Water is necessary to us, but a waterfall is not. Where it is to be found it is something extra, a beautiful ornament. We need daylight and to that extent it us utilitarian, but moonlight we do not need. When it comes, it serves no necessity. It transforms. It falls upon the banks and the grass, separating one long blade from another; turning a drift of brown, frosted leaves from a single heap to innumerable flashing fragments; or glimmering lengthways along wet twigs as though light itself were ductile. Its long beams pour, white and sharp, between the trunks of trees, their clarity fading as they recede into the powdery, misty distance of beech woods at night. In moonlight, two acres of coarse bent grass, undulant and ankle deep, tumbled and rough as a horse's mane, appear like a bay of waves, all shadowy troughs and hollows. The growth is so thick and matted that event the wind does not move it, but it is the moonlight that seems to confer stillness upon it. We do not take moonlight for granted. It is like snow, or like the dew on a July morning. It does not reveal but changes what it covers. And its low intensity---so much lower than that of daylight---makes us conscious that it is something added to the down, to give it, for only a little time, a singular and marvelous quality that we should admire while we can, for soon it will be gone again.
Richard Adams (Watership Down (Watership Down, #1))
You ask yourself: where are your dreams now? And you shake your head and say how swiftly the years fly by! And you ask yourself again: what have you done with your best years, then? Where have you buried the best days of your life? Have you lived or not? Look, you tell yourself, look how cold the world is becoming. The years will pass and after them will come grim loneliness, and old age, quaking on its stick, and after them misery and despair. Your fantasy world will grow pale, your dreams will fade and die, falling away like the yellow leaves from the trees… Ah, Nastenka! Will it not be miserable to be left alone, utterly alone, and have nothing even to regret — nothing, not a single thing… because everything I have lost was nothing, stupid, a round zero, all dreaming and no more!
Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Out there people are working and arguing and laughing, living their beautiful, terrible lives, falling in love and having babies and being bored out of their skulls and feeling depressed, then being consoled by some little thing like watching the patterns the light makes through the leaves of trees, casting shadows on the sidewalks. I remember the line from that poem now. Downward to darkness, on extended wings.
Kim Addonizio (Little Beauties)
Love Forever If I were the trees ... I would turn my leaves to gold and scatter them toward the sky so they would circle about your head and fall in piles at your feet... so you might know wonder. If I were the mountains ... I would crumble down and lift you up so you could see all of my secret places, where the rivers flow and the animals run wild ... so you might know freedom. If I were the ocean ... I would raise you onto my gentle waves and carry you across the seas to swim with the whales and the dolphins in the moonlit waters, so you might know peace. If I were the stars ... I would sparkle like never before and fall from the sky as gentle rain, so that you would always look towards heaven and know that you can reach the stars. If I were the moon ... I would scoop you up and sail you through the sky and show you the Earth below in all its wonder and beauty, so you might know that all the Earth is at your command. If I were the sun ... I would warm and glow like never before and light the sky with orange and pink, so you would gaze upward and always know the glory of heaven. But I am me ... and since I am the one who loves you, I will wrap you in my arms and kiss you and love you with all of my heart, and this I will do until ... the mountains crumble down ... and the oceans dry up ... and the stars fall from the sky ... and the sun and moon burn out ... And that is forever.
Camron Wright (The Rent Collector)
I guess I'm just feeling Septemberish," sighed Chester. "It's getting towards autumn now. And it's so pretty up in Connecticut. All the trees change color. The days get very clear―with a little smoke on the horizon from burning leaves. Pumpkins begin to come out.
George Selden (The Cricket in Times Square (Chester Cricket and His Friends, #1))
The Ache That Would Not Leave Behind the hum and routine of daily living, there lay a persistent and wild longing for something she could not easily put into words. It felt like impulsive adventures and watching the sun rise over unfamiliar mountains, or coffee in a street café, set to the background music of a foreign language. It was the smell of the ocean, with dizzying seagulls whirling in a cobalt sky; exotic foods and strange faces, in a city where no one knew her name. She wanted secrets whispered at midnight, and road trips without a map, but most of all, she ached for someone who desired to explore the mysteries that lay sleeping within her. The truly heartbreaking part was that she could feel the remaining days of her life falling away, like leaves from an autumn tree, but still this mysterious person who held the key to unlock her secrets did not arrive; they were missing, and she knew not where to find them.
John Mark Green
The gold and scarlet leaves that littered the countryside in great drifts whispered and chuckled among themselves, or took experimental runs from place to place, rolling like coloured hoops among the trees. It was as if they were practising something, preparing for something, and they would discuss it excitedly in rustly voices as they crowded round the tree trunks.
Gerald Durrell (My Family and Other Animals (Corfu Trilogy, #1))
I thought about how the past can become so small. An entire day, 24 separate, heavy hours, becomes the size of a tiny brown leaf falling from a tree. Before you know it, a whole year is just a pile of dead leaves on the ground. The year or so I’d spent in love with Chad was starting to feel so long ago, swept away by the wind. I knew that this year would soon feel far away too.
Kimberly Novosel (Loved)
Fruits doesn't fall far from the tree but there seeds can go places and wherever they go by their virtues they leave their traces
Indira Mukhopadhyay
It was odd how Aritomo's life seemed to glance off mine; we were like two leaves falling from a tree, touching each other now and again as they spiraled to the forest floor.
Tan Twan Eng (The Garden of Evening Mists)
The summer ended. Day by day, and taking its time, the summer ended. The noises in the street began to change, diminish, voices became fewer, the music sparse. Daily, blocks and blocks of children were spirited away. Grownups retreated from the streets, into the houses. Adolescents moved from the sidewalk to the stoop to the hallway to the stairs, and rooftops were abandoned. Such trees as there were allowed their leaves to fall - they fell unnoticed - seeming to promise, not without bitterness, to endure another year. At night, from a distance, the parks and playgrounds seemed inhabited by fireflies, and the night came sooner, inched in closer, fell with a greater weight. The sound of the alarm clock conquered the sound of the tambourine, the houses put on their winter faces. The houses stared down a bitter landscape, seeming, not without bitterness, to have resolved to endure another year.
James Baldwin (Just Above My Head)
I fell in love with him like dead leaves fall from the branch of a tree and rain falls from a swollen cloud. I fell in love with him like tears fall when you’re sad and like blood oozes out of your skin when you step on broken glass.
Saffron A. Kent (My Darling Arrow)
These autumn days will shorten and grow cold. The leaves will shake loose from the trees and fall. Christmas will come, then the snows of winter. You will live to enjoy the beauty of the frozen world, for you mean a great deal to Zuckerman and he will not harm you, ever. Winter will pass, the days will lengthen, the ice will melt in the pasture pond. The song sparrow will return and sing, the frogs will awake, the warm wind will blow again. All these sights and sounds and smells will be yours to enjoy, Wilbur — this lovely world, these precious days…
E.B. White (Charlotte's Web)
When there is inconsistency in belief and action (such as being violated by someone who is supposed to love you) our mind has to make an adjustment so that thought and action are aligned. So sometimes the adjustment that the mind makes is for the victim to bring her or his behavior in line with the violator, since the violator cannot be controlled by the victim. Our greatest source of survival is to adapt to our environment. So increasing emotional intimacy with a person who is forcing physical intimacy makes sense in our minds. It resolves cognitive dissonance.
Rosenna Bakari (Tree Leaves: Breaking The Fall Of The Loud Silence)
October made the leaves on Main Street fit for a crown. They dripped from the trees in jewel-toned shades: yellow and orange and fiery red. The cool wind sent a confetti-cluster of leaves down around us.
Natalie Lloyd (Over the Moon)
Variations: II Green light, from the moon, Pours over the dark blue trees, Green light from the autumn moon Pours on the grass ... Green light falls on the goblin fountain Where hesitant lovers meet and pass. They laugh in the moonlight, touching hands, They move like leaves on the wind ... I remember an autumn night like this, And not so long ago, When other lovers were blown like leaves, Before the coming of snow.
Conrad Aiken
There is an old Eastern fable about a traveler who is taken unawares on the steppes by a ferocious wild animal. In order to escape the beast the traveler hides in an empty well, but at the bottom of the well he sees a dragon with its jaws open, ready to devour him. The poor fellow does not dare to climb out because he is afraid of being eaten by the rapacious beast, neither does he dare drop to the bottom of the well for fear of being eaten by the dragon. So he seizes hold of a branch of a bush that is growing in the crevices of the well and clings on to it. His arms grow weak and he knows that he will soon have to resign himself to the death that awaits him on either side. Yet he still clings on, and while he is holding on to the branch he looks around and sees that two mice, one black and one white, are steadily working their way round the bush he is hanging from, gnawing away at it. Sooner or later they will eat through it and the branch will snap, and he will fall into the jaws of the dragon. The traveler sees this and knows that he will inevitably perish. But while he is still hanging there he sees some drops of honey on the leaves of the bush, stretches out his tongue and licks them. In the same way I am clinging to the tree of life, knowing full well that the dragon of death inevitably awaits me, ready to tear me to pieces, and I cannot understand how I have fallen into this torment. And I try licking the honey that once consoled me, but it no longer gives me pleasure. The white mouse and the black mouse – day and night – are gnawing at the branch from which I am hanging. I can see the dragon clearly and the honey no longer tastes sweet. I can see only one thing; the inescapable dragon and the mice, and I cannot tear my eyes away from them. And this is no fable but the truth, the truth that is irrefutable and intelligible to everyone. The delusion of the joys of life that had formerly stifled my fear of the dragon no longer deceived me. No matter how many times I am told: you cannot understand the meaning of life, do not thinking about it but live, I cannot do so because I have already done it for too long. Now I cannot help seeing day and night chasing me and leading me to my death. This is all I can see because it is the only truth. All the rest is a lie. Those two drops of honey, which more than all else had diverted my eyes from the cruel truth, my love for my family and for my writing, which I called art – I no longer found sweet.
Leo Tolstoy (A Confession and Other Religious Writings)
She was a finisher, unlike them -- she didn’t wait for leaves to fall and see where they’d land, or even waste time anticipating which way the wind would blow them. No, she was the storm that ripped the leaves from trees and determined their path... -SHEgo, 2010
Tania Zaverta Chance
I am just a leaf. Just a leaf falling from the tree so that a new bud may grow.
Gemma Malley (The Legacy (The Declaration, #3))
Say the planet is born at midnight and it runs for one day. First there is nothing. Two hours are lost to lava and meteors. Life doesn’t show up until three or four a.m. Even then, it’s just the barest self-copying bits and pieces. From dawn to late morning—a million million years of branching—nothing more exists than lean and simple cells. Then there is everything. Something wild happens, not long after noon. One kind of simple cell enslaves a couple of others. Nuclei get membranes. Cells evolve organelles. What was once a solo campsite grows into a town. The day is two-thirds done when animals and plants part ways. And still life is only single cells. Dusk falls before compound life takes hold. Every large living thing is a latecomer, showing up after dark. Nine p.m. brings jellyfish and worms. Later that hour comes the breakout—backbones, cartilage, an explosion of body forms. From one instant to the next, countless new stems and twigs in the spreading crown burst open and run. Plants make it up on land just before ten. Then insects, who instantly take to the air. Moments later, tetrapods crawl up from the tidal muck, carrying around on their skin and in their guts whole worlds of earlier creatures. By eleven, dinosaurs have shot their bolt, leaving the mammals and birds in charge for an hour. Somewhere in that last sixty minutes, high up in the phylogenetic canopy, life grows aware. Creatures start to speculate. Animals start teaching their children about the past and the future. Animals learn to hold rituals. Anatomically modern man shows up four seconds before midnight. The first cave paintings appear three seconds later. And in a thousandth of a click of the second hand, life solves the mystery of DNA and starts to map the tree of life itself. By midnight, most of the globe is converted to row crops for the care and feeding of one species. And that’s when the tree of life becomes something else again. That’s when the giant trunk starts to teeter.
Richard Powers (The Overstory)
The acrobat practices: He steps on the edge of a chair and leaps to the floor, feeling the rush as the air flares up his face as he falls. Then he sets himself on something higher, like a table then jumps. He scales a ladder to the ceiling, climbs a tree, pole, watchtower. He keeps increasing the height until no one sees him and the fear to jump leaves him completely, layer by layer [. . .] The acrobat imagines there is a highest possible point in the sky where if he were to fall from it the fall would never end.
Wataru Tsurumi (Kanzen Jisatsu Manyuaru, The Complete Suicide Manual)
I have lived in this tree, in this same hollow," the owl said, "for more years than anyone can remember. But now, when the wind blows hard in winter and rocks the forest, I sit here in the dark, and from deep down in the bole, near the roots, I hear a new sound. It is the sound of strands of wood creaking in the cold and snapping one by one. The limbs are falling; the tree is old, and it is dying. Yet I cannot bring myself, after so many years, to leave, to find a new home and move into it, perhaps to fight for it. I, too, have grown old. One of these days, one of these years, the tree will fall, and when it does, if I am still alive, I will fall with it.
Robert C. O'Brien (Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (Rats of NIMH, #1))
It was still late summer elsewhere, but here, high in Appalachia, fall was coming; for the last three mornings, she'd been able to see her breath. The woods, which started twenty feet back from her backdoor like a solid wall, showed only hints of the impending autumn. A few leaves near the treetops had turned, but most were full and green. Visible in the distance, the Widow's Tree towered above the forest. Its leaves were the most stubborn, tenaciously holding on sometimes until spring if the winter was mild. It was a transitional period, when the world changed its cycle and opened a window during which people might also change, if they had the inclination.
Alex Bledsoe (Wisp of a Thing (Tufa, #2))
But Arwen went forth from the House, and the light of her eyes was quenched, and it seemed to her people that she had become cold and grey as nightfall in winter that comes without a star. Then she said farewell to Eldarion, and to her daughters, and to all whom she had loved; and she went out from the city of Minas Tirith and passed away to the land of Lórien, and dwelt there alone under the fading trees until winter came. Galadriel had passed away and Celeborn also was gone, and the land was silent. 'There at last when the mallorn-leaves were falling, but spring had not yet come, she laid herself to rest upon Cerin Amroth; and there is her green grave, until the world is changed, and all the days of her life are utterly forgotten by men that come after, and elanor and niphredil bloom no more east of the Sea.
J.R.R. Tolkien
There's never been a better time to let the leaves of mediocrity fall from your tree of life.
David Ault
Listen . . . With faint dry sound, Like steps of passing ghosts, The leaves, frost-crisp’d, break from the trees And fall.
Adelaide Crapsey (Verse by Adelaide Crapsey)
All leaves must fall in time, she had said. The lives we lived fall away from us, but something remains, something that is part of the tree.
Mark Lawrence (Holy Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #3))
I am beginning to be sorry that I ever undertook to write this book. Not that it bores me; I have nothing else to do; indeed, it is a welcome distraction from eternity. But the book is tedious, it smells of the tomb, it has a rigor mortis about it; a serious fault, and yet a relatively small one, for the great defect of this book is you, reader. You want to live fast, to get to the end, and the book ambles along slowly; you like straight, solid narrative and a smooth style, but this book and my style are like a pair of drunks; they stagger to the right and to the left, they start and they stop, they mutter, they roar, they guffaw, they threaten the sky, they slip and fall... And fall! Unhappy leaves of my cypress tree, you had to fall, like everything else that is lovely and beautiful; if I had eyes, I would shed a tear of remembrance for you. And this is the great advantage in being dead, that if you have no mouth with which to laugh, neither have you eyes with which to cry.
Machado de Assis (Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas)
Occasionally a yellow leaf fell from the tree. Then one or the other of us would turn up his eyes as though to see the leaf fall once again. We didn’t wait for the next leaf, which fell a little later. Out eyes lacked the patience. We didn’t commit ourselves to leaves. Only to flying splashes of yellow that distracted our faces from one another’s
Herta Müller (The Land of Green Plums)
That was on a night in August. Dad Lewis died early that morning and the young girl Alice from next door got lost in the evening and then found her way home in the dark by the streetlights of town and so returned to the people who loved her. And in the fall the days turned cold and the leaves dropped off the trees and in the winter the wind blew from the mountains and out on the high plains of Holt County there were overnight storms and three-day blizzards.
Kent Haruf (Benediction (Plainsong, #3))
Outside, with Labor Day having come and gone, summer is fighting a dying battle against the fall air. The leaves are hanging perilously on the trees, knowing full well they're going to make the plunge, clinging on as if they stand a chance not to. The garbage smell that has wafted around us for the better part of August is dissipating, ushered out with the humidity, and in its place a briskness is filtering in, like something you'd smell from a bottle of Tide.
Allison Winn Scotch
Elisa thought how empty the prayers sounded. The words rattled around in the ancient rafters and then returned to them like dead leaves falling from the trees. No life. No shade of hope. Only a cold wind that blew into their very souls.
Bodie Thoene (Vienna Prelude (Zion Covenant, #1))
I had always heard your entire life flashes in front of your eyes the second before you die. First of all, that one second isn't a second at all, it stretches on forever, like an ocean of time... For me, it was lying on my back at Boy Scout camp, watching falling stars... And yellow leaves, from the maple trees, that lined our street... Or my grandmother's hands, and the way her skin seemed like paper... And the first time I saw my cousin Tony's brand new Firebird... And Janie... And Janie... And... Carolyn. I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me... but it's hard to stay mad, when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst... And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life... You have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm sure. But don't worry... you will someday.
Alan Ball
A quiet but indomitable voice behind me said, “I believe this is my dance.” It was Ren. I could feel his presence. The warmth of him seeped into my back, and I quivered all over like spring leaves in a warm breeze. Kishan narrowed his eyes and said, “I believe it is the lady’s choice.” Kishan looked down at me. I didn’t want to cause a scene, so I simply nodded and removed my arms from his neck. Kishan glared at his replacement and stalked angrily off the dance floor. Ren stepped in front of me, took my hands gently in his, and placed them around his neck, bringing my face achingly close to his. Then he slid his hands slowly and deliberately over my bare arms and down my sides, until they encircled my waist. He traced little circles on my exposes lower back with his fingers, squeezed my waist, and drew my body up tightly against him. He guided me expertly through the slow dance. He didn’t say anything, at least not with words, but he was still sending lots of signals. He pressed his forehead against mine and leaned down to nuzzle my ear. He buried his face in my hair and lifted his hand to stroke down the length of it. His fingers played along my bare arm and at my waist. When the song ended, it took both of us a min to recover our senses and remember where we were. He traced the curve of my bottom lip with his finger then reached up to take my hand from around his neck and led me outside to the porch. I thought he would stop there, but he headed down the stairs and guided me to a wooded area with stone benches. The moon made his skin glow. He was wearing a white shirt with dark slacks. The white made me think of him as the tiger. He pulled me under the shadow of a tree. I stood very still and quiet, afraid that if I spoke I’d say something I’d regret. He cupped my chin and tilted my face up so he could look in my eyes. “Kelsey, there’s something I need to say to you, and I want you to be silent and listen.” I nodded my head hesitantly. “First, I want to let you know that I heard everything you said to me the other night, and I’ve been giving your words some very serious thought. It’s important for you to understand that.” He shifted and picked up a lock of hair, tucked it behind my ear, and trailed his fingers down my cheek to my lips. He smiled sweetly at me, and I felt the little love plant bask in his smile and turn toward it as if it contained the nourishing rays of the sun. “Kelsey,” he brushed a hand through his hair, and his smile turned into a lopsided grin, “the fact is…I’m in love with you, and I have been for some time.” I sucked in a deep breath. He picked up my hand and played with my fingers. “I don’t want you to leave.” He began kissing my fingers while looking directly into my eyes. It was hypnotic. He took something out of his pocket. “I want to give you something.” He held out a golden chain covered with small tinkling bell charms. “It’s an anklet. They’re very popular here, and I got this one so we’d never have to search for a bell again.” He crouched down, wrapping his hand around the back of my calf, and then slid his palm down to my ankle and attached the clasp. I swayed and barely stopped myself from falling over. He trailed his warm fingers lightly over the bells before standing up. Putting his hands on my shoulders, he squeezed, and pulled me closer. “Kells . . . please.” He kissed my temple, my forehead, and my cheek. Between each kiss, he sweetly begged, “Please. Please. Please. Tell me you’ll stay with me.” When his lips brushed lightly against mine, he said, “I need you,” then crushed his lips against mine.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
When someone falls so low and doesn't learn anything, deserves the punishment that has befallen on him. All leaves must fall from the tree and rot in the ground, to make room for the new ones. So, once again i ask you. Why do you want to save these people and this corrupted place?
Mladen Đorđević (Svetioničar - Pritajeno zlo (Utočište #2))
Archer's necklace thing may have spared us the crushing headache and loss of breath, but it didn't make the landing any more graceful. We were tossed into a thick copse of trees as we came out of the blackness, and I immediately tripped over a huge exposed root, scraping my elbow on a branch as I went down. Unfortunately, since the necklace was looped around both our necks, that meant Archer fell too. On top of me. In another lifetime,that might have been kind of pleasant. And yeah, he still smelled nice, and as I grabbed his shoulders to push him away, I remembered that he was a lot stronger than his thin frame would suggest. But none of that mattered. I didn't get to notice those things about him anymore. The ground I was lying on was muddy, and I had a feeling I'd be pulling leaves and twigs out of my hair for all eternity. "Get off of me!" I mumbled against his collarbone, shoving at him. He rolled over onto his back, his sword clanging against a rock or exposed root, but thanks to the necklace, that just pulled me half on top of him. "And here I thought you were playing hard to get," he whispered. Moonlight glinted in his eyes, and he sounded a little out of breath. I told myself it was just from the fall. I thwacked his chest with the palm of my hand, then ducked my head underneath the necklace. Once I was free, I scooted away from him. "Let me guess," I hissed, nodding at the chain. "Something else you stole from Hex Hall." He pushed himself to his feet. "Guilty." "Where the heck was I while you were playing Grand Theft Cellar?" "I only took a few things, and most of those I grabbed during those last few weeks when you weren't talking to me.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
i learnt from the autumn leaves, the formula of healing. every year, they break, fall off the trees and die. and then again in a few months, they find their way back home. reborn, living a new life just to die again. but never did that stop them growing again. so why can't we humans just live up to them. fall, get hurt, bear pain but have enough courage and energy to stand up and fight back again.
Renesmee Stormer
In one picture, the pool was half hidden by a fringe of mace- weeds, and the dead willow was leaning across it at a prone, despondent angle, as if mysteriously arrested in its fall towards the stagnant waters. Beyond, the alders seemed to strain away from the pool, exposing their knotted roots as if in eternal effort. In the other drawing, the pool formed the main portion of the foreground, with the skeleton tree looming drearily at one side. At the water's farther end, the cat-tails seemed to wave and whisper among themselves in a dying wind; and the steeply barring slope of pine at the meadow's terminus was indicated as a wall of gloomy green that closed in the picture, leaving only a pale of autumnal sky at the top. ("Genius Loci")
Clark Ashton Smith (American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from Poe to the Pulps)
They rested and had a light meal, talking quietly and listening from time to time. Twilight was about them as they crept back to the lane. The West wind was sighing in the branches. Leaves were whispering. Soon the road began to fall gently but steadily into the dusk. A star came out above the trees in the darkening East before them.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)
How to Continue Oh there once was a woman and she kept a shop selling trinkets to tourists not far from a dock who came to see what life could be far back on the island. And it was always a party there always different but very nice New friends to give you advice or fall in love with you which is nice and each grew so perfectly from the other it was a marvel of poetry and irony And in this unsafe quarter much was scary and dirty but no one seemed to mind very much the parties went on from house to house There were friends and lovers galore all around the store There was moonshine in winter and starshine in summer and everybody was happy to have discovered what they discovered And then one day the ship sailed away There were no more dreamers just sleepers in heavy attitudes on the dock moving as if they knew how among the trinkets and the souvenirs the random shops of modern furniture and a gale came and said it is time to take all of you away from the tops of the trees to the little houses on little paths so startled And when it became time to go they none of them would leave without the other for they said we are all one here and if one of us goes the other will not go and the wind whispered it to the stars the people all got up to go and looked back on love
John Ashbery
As the wind swelled, my tree started to sway. Almost like a human body it swung back and around, gently at first, then more and more wildly. While the swaying intensified, so did my fears that the trunk might snap and hurl me to the ground. But in time my confidence returned. Amazed at how the tree could be at once so flexible and so sturdy, I held on tight as it bent and waved, twisted and swirled, slicing curves and arcs through the air. With each graceful swing, I felt less a creature of the land and more a part of the wind itself. "The rain began falling, it's sound merging with the splashing river and the singing trees. Branches streamed like waterfalls of green. Tiny rivers cascaded down every trunk, twisting through moss meadows and bark canyons. All the while, I rode out the gale. I could not have felt wetter. I could not have felt freer. "When, at last, the storm subsided, the entire world seemed newly born. Sunbeams danced on rain-washed leaves. Curling columns of mist rose from every glade. The forest's colors shown more vivid, its smells struck more fresh. And I understood, for the first time in my life, that the Earth was always being remade, that life was always being renewed. That it may have been the afternoon of this particular day, but it was still the very morning of Creation.
T.A. Barron (The Lost Years of Merlin)
Your life is like this tree, deeply rooted, with a solid foundation and countless branches linking your past throes with future dreams. Every tree faces inevitable storms and strong winds testing the strength of its roots. Branches break; new ones grow. It will flower and leaves will fall. And from your tree new life will emerge. In the end, though, with purpose and perseverance your tree will prevail, and each will be beautifully individual and uniquely different. A full circle of such.
Riley Mackenzie (Abruption)
With so many trees in the city, you could see the spring coming each day until a night of warm wind would bring it suddenly in one morning. [...] Part of you died each year when leaves fell from the tress and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintry light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen.
Ernest Hemingway
When the light of God's truth begins to find its way through the mists of illusion and self-deception with which we have unconsciously surrounded ourselves, and when the image of God within us begins to return to itself, the false self which we inherited from Adam begins to experience the strange panic that Adam felt when, after his sin, he hid in the trees of the garden because he heard the voice of the Lord God in the afternoon. If we are to recover our own identity, and return to God by the way Adam came in his fall, we must learn to stop saying: "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked. And I hid." [Genesis 2:10] We must cast away the "aprons of leaves" and the "garments of skins" which the Fathers of the Church variously interpret as passions, and attachments to earthly things, and fixation in our own rigid determination to be someone other than our true selves.
Thomas Merton (The New Man)
Down in the valley, leaves fall from trees, the branches are bare. All the flowers have faded, their blossoms once so beautiful. The frost attacks many herbs and kills them. I grieve. But if the winter is so cold, there must be new joys. Help me sing a joy of a hundred thousand times greater than the buds of May. I will sing of roses on the red cheeks of my lady. Could I win her favor, this lovely lady would give me such joy I would need no other. (Jack) What are you saying? (Lorelei) Noble lady, I ask nothing of you save that you should accept me as your servant. I will serve you as a good lord should serve, whatever the reward may be. Here I am, then, at your orders, sincere and humble, gay and courteous. You are not, after all, a bear or lion, and would not kill me, surely, if I put myself between your hands. I love you, my lady, Lorelei. Marry me and I swear I shall never again do or say anything to harm you and I will slay anyone who does. (Jack)
Kinley MacGregor (Master of Seduction (Sea Wolves, #1))
By now, at the end of a sloping alley, we had reached the shores of a vast marsh. Some unknown quality in the sparkling water had stained its whole bed a bright yellow. Green leaves, of such a sour brightness as almost poisoned to behold, floated on the surface of the rush-girdled pools. Weeds like tempting veils of mossy velvet grew beneath in vivid contrast with the soil. Alders and willows hung over the margin. From where we stood a half-submerged path of rough stones, threaded by deep swift channels, crossed to the very centre. ("The Basilisk")
R. Murray Gilchrist (Terror by Gaslight: More Victorian Tales of Terror)
And the roses—the roses! Rising out of the grass, tangled round the sun-dial, wreathing the tree trunks and hanging from their branches, climbing up the walls and spreading over them with long garlands falling in cascades—they came alive day by day, hour by hour. Fair fresh leaves, and buds—and buds—tiny at first but swelling and working Magic until they burst and uncurled into cups of scent delicately spilling themselves over their brims and filling the garden air. Colin
Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Secret Garden)
At the first light of the dawn the loner knight asked: "Do you happen to know- the abode of The Beloved?" The skies went silent, save their mournful clouds, save their falling stars. The pilgrim gave up his glowing twig- to the gloom of the sands- and replied: “Don’t you see that poplar tree? Well, right before the tree, There is a lane that you’ll reckon, I deem. For it is greener than a heavenly dream, For it is generously shaded- with the deep blue’s of love. Well, if you See! So walk down that lane, You’ll arrive to the garden of sense; Turn to the direction of the loner lake; Listen to the genial hymn of leaves; Watch the eternal fountain- that flows from the spring of ancient myths- till you fade away- In a plain fear. When a rigid noise- Clatters into the fluid intimacy of the space, you'll find a child- on the top of a tree- next to the nest of owls- in hope of a golden egg. Well, if you See. You may be sure: The Child will show you the way. Well, If you just ask about- The Abode of The Beloved.
Sohrab Sepehri
Everybody loves the fall season; I know you’ll agree, Who doesn’t enjoy seeing dark orange, magenta, and brown autumn leaves falling from the trees?
Charmaine J Forde
And yet when his death happened only a few months later, I understood that he left me at the end of his long life just as naturally as the leaves fall from the trees.
Arthur Golden (Memoirs of a Geisha)
And friends abroad must bear in mind Friends at home they leave behind. Oh, I shall be stiff and cold When I forget you, hearts of gold; The land where I shall mind you not Is the land where all's forgot. And if my foot returns no more To Teme nor Corve nor Severn shore, Luck, my lads, be with you still By falling stream and standing hill, By chiming tower and whispering tree, Men that made a man of me. About your work in town and farm Still you'll keep my head from harm, Still you'll help me, hands that gave A grasp to friend me to the grave.
A.E. Housman (A Shropshire Lad)
And thus they plod in sluggish misery, Rotting from sire to son, and age to age, Proud of their trampled nature, and so die, Bequeathing their hereditary rage To the new race of inborn slaves, who wage War for their chains, and rather than be free, Bleed gladiator-like, and still engage Within the same arena where they see Their fellows fall before, like leaves of the same tree.
Lord Byron
You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintry light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person had died for no reason.
Ernest Hemingway (A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition)
Sometimes the sun sets & things that shouldn’t be golden are golden. There’s a field. There’s a lake & a tree & a bird. Sometimes I am goldenrod crowding a field. Leaves fall from my branches but I try to hold on.
Nate Pritts (Right Now More Than Ever)
Last night I dreamed of the "happy hunting ground." I passed through a place of bones that looked human, but weren't--the skulls were wrong. Then I came to a place where the days were the best of every season, the sweetest air and water in spring, then the dry heat where deer make dust in the road, the fog of fall with good leaves. And you could shoot without a gun, never kill, but the rabbits would do a little dance, all as if it were a game, and they were playing it too. Then winter came with heavy powder-snow, and big deer, horses, goats and buffaloes--all white--snorted, tossed their heads, and I lay down with my Army blanket, made my bed in the snow, then dreamed within the dream. I dreamed I was at Fleety's, and she told me the bones were poor people killed by bandits, and she took me back to the place, and under a huge rock where no light should have shown, a cave almost, was a dogwood tree. It glowed the kind of red those trees get at sundown, the buds were purple in that weird light, and a madman came out with an axe and chopped at the skulls, trying to make them human-looking. Then I went back to the other side of both dreams. --from a letter to his mother, Helen Pancake, where he describes a dream that seems to encapsulate the play between violence and gentleness in his life.
Breece D'J Pancake
The way the leaves on the trees tremble in the passing air is the way love reaches you, from all directions at once, mysterious, overwhelming, indescribable. To be in love is to find something you didn't know was missing.
Chloe Thurlow (Snow Falls Softly)
Ripened Fruit Do you remember how you came into existence? You may not remember because you arrived a little drunk. Let me give you a hint: Let go off your mind and then be mindful. Close your ears and listen! It is difficult to speak to your unripeness. You may still be in your springtime, unaware that autumn exists. This world is a tree to which we cling---- we, the half-ripe fruit upon it. The immature fruit clings tightly to the branch because, not yet ripe, it's unfit for the palace. When fruits become ripe, sweet, and juicy, then, biting their lips, they loosen their hold. When the mouth has been sweetened by felicity, the kingdom of the world loses it's appeal. To be tightly attached to the world is immaturity. As long as you're an embryo, all you think about is sipping blood. There's more to be said, but let the Holy Spirit tell it. You may even tell it to your own ear. Neither I, nor some other "I," needs to tell you, you who are also I. Just as when you fall asleep, you leave the presence of yourself to enter another presence of yourself. You hear something from yourself and imagine that someone else has secretly spoken to you in a dream. But you are not a single "you," my friend----you are the wide sky and the deep sea. Your awesome "You," which is nine hundredfold, is where a hundred of your you's will drown.
Rumi
Things I Used to Get Hit For: Talking back. Being smart. Acting stupid. Not listening. Not answering the first time. Not doing what I’m told. Not doing it the second time I’m told. Running, jumping, yelling, laughing, falling down, skipping stairs, lying in the snow, rolling in the grass, playing in the dirt, walking in mud, not wiping my feet, not taking my shoes off. Sliding down the banister, acting like a wild Indian in the hallway. Making a mess and leaving it. Pissing my pants, just a little. Peeing the bed, hardly at all. Sleeping with a butter knife under my pillow. Shitting the bed because I was sick and it just ran out of me, but still my fault because I’m old enough to know better. Saying shit instead of crap or poop or number two. Not knowing better. Knowing something and doing it wrong anyway. Lying. Not confessing the truth even when I don’t know it. Telling white lies, even little ones, because fibbing isn’t fooling and not the least bit funny. Laughing at anything that’s not funny, especially cripples and retards. Covering up my white lies with more lies, black lies. Not coming the exact second I’m called. Getting out of bed too early, sometimes before the birds, and turning on the TV, which is one reason the picture tube died. Wearing out the cheap plastic hole on the channel selector by turning it so fast it sounds like a machine gun. Playing flip-and-catch with the TV’s volume button then losing it down the hole next to the radiator pipe. Vomiting. Gagging like I’m going to vomit. Saying puke instead of vomit. Throwing up anyplace but in the toilet or in a designated throw-up bucket. Using scissors on my hair. Cutting Kelly’s doll’s hair really short. Pinching Kelly. Punching Kelly even though she kicked me first. Tickling her too hard. Taking food without asking. Eating sugar from the sugar bowl. Not sharing. Not remembering to say please and thank you. Mumbling like an idiot. Using the emergency flashlight to read a comic book in bed because batteries don’t grow on trees. Splashing in puddles, even the puddles I don’t see until it’s too late. Giving my mother’s good rhinestone earrings to the teacher for Valentine’s Day. Splashing in the bathtub and getting the floor wet. Using the good towels. Leaving the good towels on the floor, though sometimes they fall all by themselves. Eating crackers in bed. Staining my shirt, tearing the knee in my pants, ruining my good clothes. Not changing into old clothes that don’t fit the minute I get home. Wasting food. Not eating everything on my plate. Hiding lumpy mashed potatoes and butternut squash and rubbery string beans or any food I don’t like under the vinyl seat cushions Mom bought for the wooden kitchen chairs. Leaving the butter dish out in summer and ruining the tablecloth. Making bubbles in my milk. Using a straw like a pee shooter. Throwing tooth picks at my sister. Wasting toothpicks and glue making junky little things that no one wants. School papers. Notes from the teacher. Report cards. Whispering in church. Sleeping in church. Notes from the assistant principal. Being late for anything. Walking out of Woolworth’s eating a candy bar I didn’t pay for. Riding my bike in the street. Leaving my bike out in the rain. Getting my bike stolen while visiting Grandpa Rudy at the hospital because I didn’t put a lock on it. Not washing my feet. Spitting. Getting a nosebleed in church. Embarrassing my mother in any way, anywhere, anytime, especially in public. Being a jerk. Acting shy. Being impolite. Forgetting what good manners are for. Being alive in all the wrong places with all the wrong people at all the wrong times.
Bob Thurber (Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel)
Carpe Diem By Edna Stewart Shakespeare, Robert Frost, Walt Whitman did it, why can't I? The words of Horace, his laconic phrase. Does it amuse me or frighten me? Does it rub salt in an old wound? Horace, Shakespeare, Robert Frost and Walt Whitman my loves, we've all had a taste of the devils carpe of forbidden food. My belly is full of mourning over life mishaps of should have's, missed pleasure, and why was I ever born? The leaf falls from the trees from which it was born in and cascade down like a feather that tumbles and toil in the wind. One gush! It blows away. It’s trampled, raked, burned and finally turns to ashes which fades away like the leaves of grass. Did Horace get it right? Trust in nothing? The shortness of Life is seventy years, Robert Frost and Whitman bared more, but Shakespeare did not. Butterflies of Curiosities allures me more. Man is mortal, the fruit is ripe. Seize more my darling! Enjoy the day.
Edna Stewart (The Call of the Christmas Pecan Tree)
Lots of the leaves on the trees had already turned to shades of yellow, from canary to yield sign to lemon sherbet, and the fall sunlight was distilled through those leaves, the rays bouncing into the shadows around us in that chunk of forest.
Emily M. Danforth (The Miseducation of Cameron Post)
Wild Peaches" When the world turns completely upside down You say we’ll emigrate to the Eastern Shore Aboard a river-boat from Baltimore; We’ll live among wild peach trees, miles from town, You’ll wear a coonskin cap, and I a gown Homespun, dyed butternut’s dark gold color. Lost, like your lotus-eating ancestor, We’ll swim in milk and honey till we drown. The winter will be short, the summer long, The autumn amber-hued, sunny and hot, Tasting of cider and of scuppernong; All seasons sweet, but autumn best of all. The squirrels in their silver fur will fall Like falling leaves, like fruit, before your shot. 2 The autumn frosts will lie upon the grass Like bloom on grapes of purple-brown and gold. The misted early mornings will be cold; The little puddles will be roofed with glass. The sun, which burns from copper into brass, Melts these at noon, and makes the boys unfold Their knitted mufflers; full as they can hold Fat pockets dribble chestnuts as they pass. Peaches grow wild, and pigs can live in clover; A barrel of salted herrings lasts a year; The spring begins before the winter’s over. By February you may find the skins Of garter snakes and water moccasins Dwindled and harsh, dead-white and cloudy-clear. 3 When April pours the colors of a shell Upon the hills, when every little creek Is shot with silver from the Chesapeake In shoals new-minted by the ocean swell, When strawberries go begging, and the sleek Blue plums lie open to the blackbird’s beak, We shall live well — we shall live very well. The months between the cherries and the peaches Are brimming cornucopias which spill Fruits red and purple, sombre-bloomed and black; Then, down rich fields and frosty river beaches We’ll trample bright persimmons, while you kill Bronze partridge, speckled quail, and canvasback. 4 Down to the Puritan marrow of my bones There’s something in this richness that I hate. I love the look, austere, immaculate, Of landscapes drawn in pearly monotones. There’s something in my very blood that owns Bare hills, cold silver on a sky of slate, A thread of water, churned to milky spate Streaming through slanted pastures fenced with stones. I love those skies, thin blue or snowy gray, Those fields sparse-planted, rendering meagre sheaves; That spring, briefer than apple-blossom’s breath, Summer, so much too beautiful to stay, Swift autumn, like a bonfire of leaves, And sleepy winter, like the sleep of death.
Elinor Wylie
He talks of the life that will come from his own death, and he promises that life will flow to us in thousands of small ways as we die to our egos, our pride, our need to be right, our self-sufficiency, our rebellion, and our stubborn insistence that we deserve to get our way. When we cling with white knuckles to our sins and our hostility, we’re like a tree that won’t let its leaves go. There can’t be a spring if we’re still stuck in the fall. Lose your life and find it, he says. That’s how the world works.
Rob Bell (Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived)
The morning of September 1st met the citizen of the village shining with beautiful sunny weather. A refreshing breeze, enriched by acerb fragrances of maple, oak, and poplar tree leaves that already began changing their colors for autumn, blew from the lake.
Sahara Sanders (Gods’ Food (Indigo Diaries, #1))
Well the end is coming, isn't it? We spend our entire lives running from it. No speaking of it allowed. Fearing it for our loved ones." She shook her head and folded the burp cloth in her hand. "But after all we've seen of the world, I decided I'll get more joy out of the days I have left if I just acknowledge that death is part of life. The leaves on an apple tree blossom yield and fall. No use fretting over the sweetness of the fruit. Got to pick it when it looks ripe and move on. It's the fool who's forlorn over what he imagines he's lost. I'm sure that's in the Gospel somewhere." Even if it wasn't, Rachel would amend the text to her liking. The Word according to Rachel, as some complained. Not Marilla of course. Rachel was her closest friend, so she kept quiet, in Cuthbert fashion.
Sarah McCoy (Marilla of Green Gables)
To remember, for instance, that here just a year ago, just at this time, at this hour, on this pavement, I wandered just as lonely, just as dejected as to-day. And one remembers that then one’s dreams were sad, and though the past was no better one feels as though it had somehow been better, and that life was more peaceful, that one was free from the black thoughts that haunt one now; that one was free from the gnawing of conscience — the gloomy, sullen gnawing which now gives me no rest by day or by night. And one asks oneself where are one’s dreams. And one shakes one’s head and says how rapidly the years fly by! And again one asks oneself what has one done with one’s years. Where have you buried your best days? Have you lived or not? Look, one says to oneself, look how cold the world is growing. Some more years will pass, and after them will come gloomy solitude; then will come old age trembling on its crutch, and after it misery and desolation. Your fantastic world will grow pale, your dreams will fade and die and will fall like the yellow leaves from the trees. . . . Oh, Nastenka! you know it will be sad to be left alone, utterly alone, and to have not even anything to regret — nothing, absolutely nothing . . . for all that you have lost, all that, all was nothing, stupid, simple nullity, there has been nothing but dreams!
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (White Nights)
When she had arranged her household affairs, she came to the library and bade me follow her. Then, with the mirror still swinging against her knees, she led me through the garden and the wilderness down to a misty wood. It being autumn, the trees were tinted gloriously in dusky bars of colouring. The rowan, with his amber leaves and scarlet berries, stood before the brown black-spotted sycamore; the silver beech flaunted his golden coins against my poverty; firs, green and fawn-hued, slumbered in hazy gossamer. No bird carolled, although the sun was hot. Marina noted the absence of sound, and without prelude of any kind began to sing from the ballad of the Witch Mother: about the nine enchanted knots, and the trouble-comb in the lady's knotted hair, and the master-kid that ran beneath her couch. Every drop of my blood froze in dread, for whilst she sang her face took on the majesty of one who traffics with infernal powers. As the shade of the trees fell over her, and we passed intermittently out of the light, I saw that her eyes glittered like rings of sapphires. ("The Basilisk")
R. Murray Gilchrist (Terror by Gaslight: More Victorian Tales of Terror)
And one asks oneself where are one's dreams. And one shakes one's head and says how rapidly the years fly by! And again one asks oneself what has one done with one's years. Where have you buried your best days? Have you lived or not? Look, one says to oneself, look how cold the world is growing. Some more years will pass, and after them will come gloomy solitude; then will come old age trembling on its crutch, and after it misery and desolation. Your fantastic world will grow pale, your dreams will fade and die and will fall like yellow leaves from the trees.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky
One morning she at last succeeded in helping him to the foot of the steps, trampling down the grass before him with her feet, and clearing a way for him through the briars, whose supple arms barred the last few yards. Then they slowly entered the wood of roses. It was indeed a very wood, with thickets of tall standard roses throwing out leafy clumps as big as trees, and enormous rose bushes impenetrable as copses of young oaks. Here, formerly, there had been a most marvellous collection of plants. But since the flower garden had been left in abandonment, everything had run wild, and a virgin forest had arisen, a forest of roses over-running the paths, crowded with wild offshoots, so mingled, so blended, that roses of every scent and hue seemed to blossom on the same stem. Creeping roses formed mossy carpets on the ground, while climbing roses clung to others like greedy ivy plants, and ascended in spindles of verdure, letting a shower of their loosened petals fall at the lightest breeze. Natural paths coursed through the wood — narrow footways, broad avenues, enchanting covered walks in which one strolled in the shade and scent. These led to glades and clearings, under bowers of small red roses, and between walls hung with tiny yellow ones. Some sunny nooks gleamed like green silken stuff embroidered with bright patterns; other shadier corners offered the seclusion of alcoves and an aroma of love, the balmy warmth, as it were, of a posy languishing on a woman’s bosom. The rose bushes had whispering voices too. And the rose bushes were full of songbirds’ nests. ‘We must take care not to lose ourselves,’ said Albine, as she entered the wood. ‘I did lose myself once, and the sun had set before I was able to free myself from the rose bushes which caught me by the skirt at every step.’ They had barely walked a few minutes, however, before Serge, worn out with fatigue, wished to sit down. He stretched himself upon the ground, and fell into deep slumber. Albine sat musing by his side. They were on the edge of a glade, near a narrow path which stretched away through the wood, streaked with flashes of sunlight, and, through a small round blue gap at its far end, revealed the sky. Other little paths led from the clearing into leafy recesses. The glade was formed of tall rose bushes rising one above the other with such a wealth of branches, such a tangle of thorny shoots, that big patches of foliage were caught aloft, and hung there tent-like, stretching out from bush to bush. Through the tiny apertures in the patches of leaves, which were suggestive of fine lace, the light
Émile Zola (Complete Works of Emile Zola)
b) ‘A Muslim is like a date palm tree whose leaves do not fall, always beneficial and never harmful.’ “This influences my organizing by reminding me that my core responsibility is to be a benefit to whatever I’m engaged in. I may not always know HOW that will happen but it has to be my aim. I want peoples’ lives to have been better (even in very tiny ways) from having participated with me in this work. This means to me that I bring beautiful words, actions, ideas, and behaviors into spaces. At the end of it all even if we don’t see the fruits of our labor, shouldn’t we be able to say we loved and enjoyed each other? That’s why I want to act and be like a palm tree, providing shade, covering my comrades (instead of throwing shade lol). I want to provide food (dates). I want to be what they can lean on. I want to be a resource, sustaining our work.” —Aisha Shillingford “I
Adrienne Maree Brown (Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds)
You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. -Ernest Hemingway
Erica Cope (Pieces of Me)
THOSE BORN UNDER Pacific Northwest skies are like daffodils: they can achieve beauty only after a long, cold sulk in the rain. Henry, our mother, and I were Pacific Northwest babies. At the first patter of raindrops on the roof, a comfortable melancholy settled over the house. The three of us spent dark, wet days wrapped in old quilts, sitting and sighing at the watery sky. Viviane, with her acute gift for smell, could close her eyes and know the season just by the smell of the rain. Summer rain smelled like newly clipped grass, like mouths stained red with berry juice — blueberries, raspberries, blackberries. It smelled like late nights spent pointing constellations out from their starry guises, freshly washed laundry drying outside on the line, like barbecues and stolen kisses in a 1932 Ford Coupe. The first of the many autumn rains smelled smoky, like a doused campsite fire, as if the ground itself had been aflame during those hot summer months. It smelled like burnt piles of collected leaves, the cough of a newly revived chimney, roasted chestnuts, the scent of a man’s hands after hours spent in a woodshop. Fall rain was not Viviane’s favorite. Rain in the winter smelled simply like ice, the cold air burning the tips of ears, cheeks, and eyelashes. Winter rain was for hiding in quilts and blankets, for tying woolen scarves around noses and mouths — the moisture of rasping breaths stinging chapped lips. The first bout of warm spring rain caused normally respectable women to pull off their stockings and run through muddy puddles alongside their children. Viviane was convinced it was due to the way the rain smelled: like the earth, tulip bulbs, and dahlia roots. It smelled like the mud along a riverbed, like if she opened her mouth wide enough, she could taste the minerals in the air. Viviane could feel the heat of the rain against her fingers when she pressed her hand to the ground after a storm. But in 1959, the year Henry and I turned fifteen, those warm spring rains never arrived. March came and went without a single drop falling from the sky. The air that month smelled dry and flat. Viviane would wake up in the morning unsure of where she was or what she should be doing. Did the wash need to be hung on the line? Was there firewood to be brought in from the woodshed and stacked on the back porch? Even nature seemed confused. When the rains didn’t appear, the daffodil bulbs dried to dust in their beds of mulch and soil. The trees remained leafless, and the squirrels, without acorns to feed on and with nests to build, ran in confused circles below the bare limbs. The only person who seemed unfazed by the disappearance of the rain was my grandmother. Emilienne was not a Pacific Northwest baby nor a daffodil. Emilienne was more like a petunia. She needed the water but could do without the puddles and wet feet. She didn’t have any desire to ponder the gray skies. She found all the rain to be a bit of an inconvenience, to be honest.
Leslye Walton (The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender)
On A Cold Day, Of A Cool Walking The day is cold, and the clouds are gray. The grass is white with frost, and may I say? The sun is coming up, over the hill. It's so quiet, and so still. In the midst of all the trees, by the broke I see. Something moving in the bush; what could it be? The frost falls from the dead leaves, as he hops about in the breeze. It's a bunny, all bundled up with fur, so he will not freeze. Life keeps on going, even when we think not. Where are you going, and what is your lot? Looking for God's Love, from up above? Jesus will fly to you, like a dove. He is there; just start talking. On a cold day, of a cool walking.
Jerrel C. Thomas (The Comforter: A Godly Adventure, And A Mystery)
[...] she had written Clare a letter in school yesterday afternoon and delivered it herself on the way home. In this letter she had mildly said, «Everyone thinks I am sullen, surly, sulky, grim; but I am the two hemispheres of Ptolemaic marvels, I am lost Atlantis risen from the sea, the Western Isles of infinite promise, the apples of the Hesperides and daily make the voyage to Cytherea, island of snaky trees and abundant shade with leaves large and dripping juice, the fruit that is my heart, but I have a thousand hearts hung on every trees, yes, my heart drips alone every fence paling. I am mad with my heart which beats too much in the world and falls in love at every instant with every reflection that glimmers in it.» And much more of this, which she was accustomed to write to Clare, stuff almost without meaning, but yet which seemed to have the entire meaning of life for her, and which made Clare exclaim a dozen times, «Oh, Louie, I can’t believe it, when I get your letters, you are the same person: when I meet you at school I keep looking at you in surprise!»
Christina Stead (The Man Who Loved Children)
together our colors sing, ablaze with a melody of passion hues drenched with reds, and yellows, and oranges, mellowed by greens, and cooling blues... floating silently upon the morning breeze, we're autumn's leaves falling from trees, landing in the river floating quietly away, upon still waters, wrapped around colorful sighs, a simple, single, infinite moment of living to love
Bodhi Smith (Bodhi Smith Impressionist Photography (#6))
Wherever forest can develop in a species-appropriate manner, they offer particularly beneficial functions that are legally placed above lumber production in many forest laws. I am talking about respite and recovery. Current discussions between environmental groups and forest users, together with the first encouraging results-such as the forest in Konigsdorf-give hope that in the future forests will continue to live out their hidden lives, and our descendants will still have the opportunity to walk through the trees in wonder. This what this ecosystem achieves: the fullness of life with tens of thousands of species interwoven and interdependent. And just how important this interconnected global network of forests is to other areas of Nature is made clear by this little story from Japan. Katsuhiko Matsunaga, a marine chemist at the Hokkaido University, discovered that leaves falling into streams and rivers leach acids into the ocean that stimulate growth of plankton, the first and most important building block in the food chain. More fish because of the forest? The researcher encouraged the planting of more trees in coastal areas, which did, in fact, lead to higher yields for fisheries and oyster growers.
Peter Wohlleben (The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World)
The Fall, a time when the illusion of the Maya fades away, a freedom from the identification with the illusory persona. For as the trees let go of their leaves to embrace the new season each year, there is no need to fight the shadows that form the illusion or the masks that form our egoic personas, but rather enjoy the illusion for what it is and find the freedom to accept and play a role outside of identification.
Virgil Kalyana Mittata Iordache
BOWLS OF FOOD Moon and evening star do their slow tambourine dance to praise this universe. The purpose of every gathering is discovered: to recognize beauty and love what’s beautiful. “Once it was like that, now it’s like this,” the saying goes around town, and serious consequences too. Men and women turn their faces to the wall in grief. They lose appetite. Then they start eating the fire of pleasure, as camels chew pungent grass for the sake of their souls. Winter blocks the road. Flowers are taken prisoner underground. Then green justice tenders a spear. Go outside to the orchard. These visitors came a long way, past all the houses of the zodiac, learning Something new at each stop. And they’re here for such a short time, sitting at these tables set on the prow of the wind. Bowls of food are brought out as answers, but still no one knows the answer. Food for the soul stays secret. Body food gets put out in the open like us. Those who work at a bakery don’t know the taste of bread like the hungry beggars do. Because the beloved wants to know, unseen things become manifest. Hiding is the hidden purpose of creation: bury your seed and wait. After you die, All the thoughts you had will throng around like children. The heart is the secret inside the secret. Call the secret language, and never be sure what you conceal. It’s unsure people who get the blessing. Climbing cypress, opening rose, Nightingale song, fruit, these are inside the chill November wind. They are its secret. We climb and fall so often. Plants have an inner Being, and separate ways of talking and feeling. An ear of corn bends in thought. Tulip, so embarrassed. Pink rose deciding to open a competing store. A bunch of grapes sits with its feet stuck out. Narcissus gossiping about iris. Willow, what do you learn from running water? Humility. Red apple, what has the Friend taught you? To be sour. Peach tree, why so low? To let you reach. Look at the poplar, tall but without fruit or flower. Yes, if I had those, I’d be self-absorbed like you. I gave up self to watch the enlightened ones. Pomegranate questions quince, Why so pale? For the pearl you hid inside me. How did you discover my secret? Your laugh. The core of the seen and unseen universes smiles, but remember, smiles come best from those who weep. Lightning, then the rain-laughter. Dark earth receives that clear and grows a trunk. Melon and cucumber come dragging along on pilgrimage. You have to be to be blessed! Pumpkin begins climbing a rope! Where did he learn that? Grass, thorns, a hundred thousand ants and snakes, everything is looking for food. Don’t you hear the noise? Every herb cures some illness. Camels delight to eat thorns. We prefer the inside of a walnut, not the shell. The inside of an egg, the outside of a date. What about your inside and outside? The same way a branch draws water up many feet, God is pulling your soul along. Wind carries pollen from blossom to ground. Wings and Arabian stallions gallop toward the warmth of spring. They visit; they sing and tell what they think they know: so-and-so will travel to such-and-such. The hoopoe carries a letter to Solomon. The wise stork says lek-lek. Please translate. It’s time to go to the high plain, to leave the winter house. Be your own watchman as birds are. Let the remembering beads encircle you. I make promises to myself and break them. Words are coins: the vein of ore and the mine shaft, what they speak of. Now consider the sun. It’s neither oriental nor occidental. Only the soul knows what love is. This moment in time and space is an eggshell with an embryo crumpled inside, soaked in belief-yolk, under the wing of grace, until it breaks free of mind to become the song of an actual bird, and God.
Rumi (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)
They drove farther north like that. In perfect loving antagonism. It occurred to Ted that maybe Marty was like all the red and gold leaves he saw burning on the trees. In nature, it seems, things reached their most vibrant and beautiful right at the point of death, flaming out with all they had—why not natural man? His father was red, green, yellow, and gold, like a beautiful bird falling from the sky. Parodoxical undressing again.
David Duchovny (Bucky F*cking Dent)
Winter came to the island gently as a rule. The sky was still clear, the sea blue and calm, and the sun warm. But there would be an uncertainty in the air. The gold and scarlet leaves that littered the countryside in great drifts wispered and chuckled among themselves, or took experimental runs from place to place, rolling like coloured hoops among the trees. It was if they were practising something, preparing for something, and they would discuss it excitedly in rustly voices as they crowded round the treetrunks.
Gerald Durrell (My Family and Other Animals (Corfu Trilogy, #1))
We stood like two trees beside, intertwined into one. And when the winds blew against us, we would laugh at it, as leaves clapping hands to our strength. Always day. We had all the stars, but no sky to hang them onto. We were brave, but not strong. Bare, but not skeleton. We had song, but no dance. Time slipped as a blessed curse. We knew the pennies were slipping from our pockets, and we left them there on the ground as worthless cents. In wordless sense, we finally found our darkness, but the stars had all faded by then.
Anthony Liccione
The Metal Element represents people who respect, treasure, and conserve precious items, like rare metals, gems, or jars of jam. Let’s calm ourselves down from the frenzy of summer’s exuberance and the sharing of our bountiful harvest. Oh my! This is a time in the seasons of falling back to earth, when all the plants go dormant or die, which brings the cycle back to the essence of things, like when you see the trees without leaves... just the trunk and bare branches. Even the things you’re most attached to must leave in the end. In some traditions the Metal Element is sometimes called the Air Element (also associated with Autumn) because Metal people are like a leaf falling through the Autumn air. The leaf will never be attached to its mother tree again. It must fly free and embrace the free-fall of letting go. What will the letting go bring? It may bring melancholy or longing for the past, and Metal accepts this. But it will also bring new life again in the Spring. As long as you don’t cling too tightly or too long, you can relax into the ebb and flow of death and rebirth.
Leta Herman (Connecting Your Circle: How the Five Elements Can Help You Be a More Authentic You (So You Think You Are...))
Life has come to a silent pause, The fear of Virus, the slowdown, Disconnecting me from moments, Heart has taken over the mind, Light now shines upon my eyes, Dreams blocked, the roads traversed, The break has broken the barrier, Me pondering, was I living my life? The days are same and so is night, The Sun, the Moon, and the stars, still rise in the east and set in the west, Trees, plants, flowers there as before, The sky, clouds rivers and oceans, Earth's precious treasures, no different, Change is in my perspective n priorities, Is it that I am learning to live my life. Monotonous tedium chores, Unpleasant hunger for wealth, Most of us are living dead, Body just awaits the soul to leave, To be buried or cremated, Waste of life and for what price, All material things cherished, Useless in our last flight. Time to fall in love with my life, Stop living for others, their expectations, I am again the owner of my choices, Not bothered to please others, Nor what they think about me, My dreams are alive and back, My treasurers are now my deeds, I have finally learnt to live!!!
Mukesh Kwatra
When a man lives with the wilderness he comes to an acceptance of death as a part of living, he sees the leaves fall and rot away to build the soil for other trees and plants to be born. The leaves gather strength from sun and rain, gathering the capital on which they live to return it to the soil when they die. Only for a time have they borrowed their life from the sum of things, using their small portion of sun, earth, and rain, some of the chemicals that go into their being - all to be paid back when death comes. All to be used again and again.
Louis L'Amour (Treasure Mountain (The Sacketts #15))
I will love you with no regard to the actions of our enemies or the jealousies of actors. I will love you with no regard to the outrage of certain parents or the boredom of certain friends. I will love you no matter what is served in the world’s cafeterias or what game is played at each and every recess. I will love you no matter how many fire drills we are all forced to endure, and no matter what is drawn upon the blackboard in a blurring, boring chalk. I will love you no matter how many mistakes I make when trying to reduce fractions, and no matter how difficult it is to memorize the periodic table. I will love you no matter what your locker combination was, or how you decided to spend your time during study hall. I will love you no matter how your soccer team performed in the tournament or how many stains I received on my cheerleading uniform. I will love you if I never see you again, and I will love you if I see you every Tuesday. I will love you if you cut your hair and I will love you if you cut the hair of others. I will love you if you abandon your baticeering, and I will love you if you retire from the theater to take up some other, less dangerous occupation. I will love you if you drop your raincoat on the floor instead of hanging it up and I will love you if you betray your father. I will love you even if you announce that the poetry of Edgar Guest is the best in the world and even if you announce that the work of Zilpha Keatley Snyder is unbearably tedious. I will love you if you abandon the theremin and take up the harmonica and I will love you if you donate your marmosets to the zoo and your tree frogs to M. I will love you as the starfish loves a coral reef and as kudzu loves trees, even if the oceans turn to sawdust and the trees fall in the forest without anyone around to hear them. I will love you as the pesto loves the fetuccini and as the horseradish loves the miyagi, as the tempura loves the ikura and the pepperoni loves the pizza. I will love you as the manatee loves the head of lettuce and as the dark spot loves the leopard, as the leech loves the ankle of a wader and as a corpse loves the beak of the vulture. I will love you as the doctor loves his sickest patient and a lake loves its thirstiest swimmer. I will love you as the beard loves the chin, and the crumbs love the beard, and the damp napkin loves the crumbs, and the precious document loves the dampness in the napkin, and the squinting eye of the reader loves the smudged print of the document, and the tears of sadness love the squinting eye as it misreads what is written. I will love you as the iceberg loves the ship, and the passengers love the lifeboat, and the lifeboat loves the teeth of the sperm whale, and the sperm whale loves the flavor of naval uniforms. I will love you as a child loves to overhear the conversations of its parents, and the parents love the sound of their own arguing voices, and as the pen loves to write down the words these voices utter in a notebook for safekeeping. I will love you as a shingle loves falling off a house on a windy day and striking a grumpy person across the chin, and as an oven loves malfunctioning in the middle of roasting a turkey. I will love you as an airplane loves to fall from a clear blue sky and as an escalator loves to entangle expensive scarves in its mechanisms. I will love you as a wet paper towel loves to be crumpled into a ball and thrown at a bathroom ceiling and an eraser loves to leave dust in the hairdos of the people who talk too much. I will love you as a taxi loves the muddy splash of a puddle and as a library loves the patient tick of a clock. I will love you as a thief loves a gallery and as a crow loves a murder, as a cloud loves bats and as a range loves braes. I will love you as misfortune loves orphans, as fire loves innocence and as justice loves to sit and watch while everything goes wrong.
Lemony Snicket (The Beatrice Letters (A Series of Unfortunate Events))
The road leading off campus was lined with hickory trees, their leaves so bright yellow they shone like fire, as if the road were lined with giant torches. Claire rested her head back as Tyler drove, his hand on your knee. Houses in town were decorated in full Halloween regalia, some more elaborate than others. Jack-o-lanterns flickered on porches, and red and yellow leaves swirled. This wasn't her favorite time of year, but it certainly was gorgeous. Autumn felt like the whole world was browned and roasted until it was so tender it was about to fall away from the bone.
Sarah Addison Allen (First Frost (Waverley Family, #2))
To A Leaf Falling In Winter” At sundown when a day’s words have gathered at the feet of the trees lining up in silence to enter the long corridors of the roots into which they pass one by one thinking that they remember the place as they feel themselves climbing away from their only sound while they are being forgotten by their bright circumstances they rise through all of the rings listening again afterward as they listened once and they come to where the leaves used to live during their lives but have gone now and they too take the next step beyond the reach of meaning
W.S. Merwin (Present Company)
But what after all is one night? A short space, especially when the darkness dims so soon, and so soon a bird sings, a cock crows, or a faint green quickens, like a turning leaf, in the hollows of the wave. Night, however, succeeds to night. The winter holds a pack of them in store and deals them equally, evenly, with indefatigable fingers. They lengthen; they darken. Some of them hold aloft clear planets, plates of brightness. The autumn trees, ravaged as they are, take on the flesh of tattered flags kindling in the doom of cool cathedral caves where gold letters on marble pages describe death in battle and how bones bleach and burn far away in Indian sands. The autumn trees gleam in the yellow moonlight, in the light of harvest moons, the light which mellows the energy of labour, and smooths the stubble, and brings the wave lapping blue to the shore. It seemed now as if, touched by human penitence and all its toil, divine goodness had parted the curtain and displayed behind it, single, distinct, the hare erect; the wave falling; the boat rocking; which, did we deserve them, should be ours always. But alas, divine goodness, twitching the cord, draws the curtain; it does not please him; he covers his treasures in a drench of hail, and so breaks them, so confuses them that it seems impossible that their calm should ever return or that we should ever compose from their fragments a perfect whole or read in the littered pieces the clear words of truth. For our penitence deserves a glimpse only; our toil respite only. The nights now are full of wind and destruction; the trees plunge and bend and their leaves fly helter skelter until the lawn is plastered with them and they lie packed in gutters and choke rain pipes and scatter damp paths. Also the sea tosses itself and breaks itself, and should any sleeper fancying that he might find on the beach an answer to his doubts, a sharer of his solitude, throw off his bedclothes and go down by himself to walk on the sand, no image with semblance of serving and divine promptitude comes readily to hand bringing the night to order and making the world reflect the compass of the soul. The hand dwindles in his hand; the voice bellows in his ear. Almost it would appear that it is useless in such confusion to ask the night those questions as to what, and why, and wherefore, which tempt the sleeper from his bed to seek an answer.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
Then there was the bad weather. It would come in one day when the fall was over. You would have to shut the windows in the night against the rain and the cold wind would strip the leaves from the trees in the Place Contrescarpe. The leaves lay sodden in the rain and the wind drove the rain against the big green autobus at the terminal and the Café des Amateurs was crowded and the windows misted over from the heat and the smoke inside. It was a sad, evilly run café where the drunkards of the quarter crowded together and I kept away from it because of the smell of dirty bodies and the sour smell of drunkenness.
Ernest Hemingway (A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition)
We need daylight and to that extent it is utilitarian, but moonlight we do not need. When it comes, it serves no necessity. It transforms. It falls upon the banks and the grass, separating one long blade from another; turning a drift of brown, frosted leaves from a single heap to innumerable flashing fragments; or glimmering lengthways along wet twigs as though light itself were ductile. Its long beams pour, white and sharp, between the trunks of trees, their clarity fading as they recede into the powdery, misty distance of beech woods at night. In moonlight, two acres of coarse bent grass, undulant and ankle deep, tumbled and rough as a horse's mane, appear like a bay of waves, all shadowy troughs and hollows. The growth is so thick and matted that even the wind does not move it, but it is the moonlight that seems to confer stillness upon it. We do not take moonlight for granted. It is like snow, or like the dew on a July morning. It does not reveal but changes what it covers. And its low intensity--so much lower than that of daylight--makes us conscious that it is something added to the down, to give it, for only a little time, a singular and marvelous quality that we should admire while we can, for soon it will be gone again.
Richard Adams
To lose someone you love is something you'll regard as the hardest of all blows to bear, while all the time this will be as silly as crying because the leaves fall from the beautiful trees that add to the charm of your home. [...] At one moment chance will carry off one of them, at another moment another; but the falling of the leaves is not difficult to bear, since they grow again, and it is no more hard to bear the loss of those whom you love and regard as brightening your existence; for even if they do not grow again they are replaced. "But their successors will never be quite the same." No, and neither will you.
Seneca (Letters from a Stoic)
Trees stand at the heart of ecology, and they must come to stand at the heart of human politics. Tagore said, Trees are the earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven. But people—oh, my word—people! People could be the heaven that the Earth is trying to speak to. “If we could see green, we’d see a thing that keeps getting more interesting the closer we get. If we could see what green was doing, we’d never be lonely or bored. If we could understand green, we’d learn how to grow all the food we need in layers three deep, on a third of the ground we need right now, with plants that protected one another from pests and stress. If we knew what green wanted, we wouldn’t have to choose between the Earth’s interests and ours. They’d be the same!” One more click takes her to the next slide, a giant fluted trunk covered in red bark that ripples like muscle. “To see green is to grasp the Earth’s intentions. So consider this one. This tree grows from Colombia to Costa Rica. As a sapling, it looks like a piece of braided hemp. But if it finds a hole in the canopy, the sapling shoots up into a giant stem with flaring buttresses.” She turns to regard the image over her shoulder. It’s the bell of an enormous angel’s trumpet, plunged into the Earth. So many miracles, so much awful beauty. How can she leave so perfect a place? “Did you know that every broadleaf tree on Earth has flowers? Many mature species flower at least once a year. But this tree, Tachigali versicolor, this one flowers only once. Now, suppose you could have sex only once in your entire life. . . .” The room laughs now. She can’t hear, but she can smell their nerves. Her switchback trail through the woods is twisting again. They can’t tell where their guide is going. “How can a creature survive, by putting everything into a one-night stand? Tachigali versicolor’s act is so quick and decisive that it boggles me. You see, within a year of its only flowering, it dies.” She lifts her eyes. The room fills with wary smiles for the weirdness of this thing, nature. But her listeners can’t yet tie her rambling keynote to anything resembling home repair. “It turns out that a tree can give away more than its food and medicines. The rain forest canopy is thick, and wind-borne seeds never land very far from their parent. Tachigali’s once-in-a-lifetime offspring germinate right away, in the shadow of giants who have the sun locked up. They’re doomed, unless an old tree falls. The dying mother opens a hole in the canopy, and its rotting trunk enriches the soil for new seedlings. Call it the ultimate parental sacrifice. The common name for Tachigali versicolor is the suicide tree.
Richard Powers (The Overstory)
The rain is coming down here, but ever so slightly . . . Picture if you will from the heavens above, the tears of a thousand angels falling to the trees below. Causing the leaves to be so heavily burdened down by the weight of their early morning prayers for all of those who are in need on this day ~ Then close your eyes and allow yourself to be absorbed into the sound & rhythm caused by each drop. Not merely being just a monotonic pattern of sorts, but that of a well evolved symphony within itself! Almost as if it's been carefully orchestrated to heighten our senses, so that if we could just to allow ourselves just this once, maybe then will we be able to give earnest heed to what is being spoken.
Christine Upton
NAMING THE EARTH (a poem of light for national poetry day) And the world will be born again in circles of steaming breath and beams of light as each one of us directs our inner eye upon its name. Hear the cry of wings, the sigh of leaves and grass, smell the new sweet mist rising as the pathway is cleared at last. Stones stand ready - they have known since ages and ages ago that they were not alone. Water carries the planet's energy into skies and down to earth and bones. The cold parts steadily as we come together, bodies and hearts warm, hands tingling. We are silent but our eyes are singing. We look, we feel, we know, we trust each other's souls, we have no need to speak. Not now, but later, when the time is right, the name will ring within the iron core of each other's listening - and the very earth's being. Every creature, every plant, will hear it calling, tolling like a bell - a sound we've always felt but never dared to hope to hear reverberating - true at last, at every level of existence. The poets come together to open the intimate centre. Believe in life and air - breathe the light itself, for these are the energies and rhythms that we need to see, to touch, to reach, to identify, to say, the NAME. Colours on your skin fuse and dissolve - leave the river clean for pure space and time to enter and flow in. We all become one fluid stream of stillness and motion, of flaring thought pulses discovering weird pools and twists within where darkness hides from the flames in our eyes but will not snare us. We probe deeper still, journeying towards a unity which will be more raw and yet also more formed than anything written or spoken before. Our fragile bodies fall away - and the trees, and the roots of trees, guide us - lead us away from the faces we remember seeing each day in the mirror - into an ocean of dreams seething with warmth, love, where the beginning is real, ripe, evolving. And the world is born again in circles of steaming breath and beams of light. An ache - a signal - a trembling moment - and the time is right to say the name. We sing as one whole voice of the universal - all the words, the names of every tiny thirsting thing, and they ring out together as one sound, one energy, one sense, one vibration, one breath. And the world listens, beats, shines, glows - IS - Exists!
Jay Woodman
Of all the plants, trees have the largest surface area covered in leaves. For every square yard of forest, 27 square yards of leaves and needles blanket the crowns. Part of every rainfall is intercepted in the canopy and immediately evaporates again. In addition, each summer, trees use up to 8,500 cubic yards of water per square mile, which they release into the air through transpiration. This water vapor creates new clouds that travel farther inland to release their rain. As the cycle continues, water reaches even the most remote areas. This water pump works so well that the downpours in some large areas of the world, such as the Amazon basin, are almost as heavy thousands of miles inland as they are on the coast. There are a few requirements for the pump to work: from the ocean to the farthest corner, there must be forest. And, most importantly, the coastal forests are the foundations for this system. If they do not exist, the system falls apart. Scientists credit Anastassia Makarieva from Saint Petersburg in Russia for the discovery of these unbelievably important connections. They studied different forests around the world and everywhere the results were the same. It didn't matter if they were studying a rain forest or the Siberian taiga, it was always the trees that were transferring life-giving moisture into land-locked interiors. Researchers also discovered that the whole process breaks down if coastal forests are cleared. It's a bit like if you were using an electrical pump to distribute water and you pulled the intake pipe out of the pond. The fallout is already apparent in Brazil, where the Amazonian rain forest is steadily drying out. Central Europe is within the 400-mile zone and, therefore, close enough to the intake area. Thankfully, there are still forests here, even if they are greatly diminished.
Peter Wohlleben (The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World)
I Have Seen Bengal’s Face - Poem by Jibanananda Das Autoplay next video I have seen Bengal’s face, that is why I do not seek Beauty of the earth any more: I wake up in the dark And see the dawn’s magpie-robin perched under the parasol-like huge leaf Of the fig tree – on all sides I see mounds of leaves of Black plum – banyan – jackfruit – oak – pipal lying still; Their shadows fall on the spurge bushes on zedoary clumps; Who knows when Chand near Champa from his madhukar boat Saw such oaks – banyans – gamboge’s blue shades Bengal’s beauty incomparable. Behula too someday floating on raft on Gangur’s water – When the fullmoon of the tenebrous twelfth night died on the river’s shoal – Saw countless pipals and banyans beside the golden corn, Alas, heard the tender songs of shama – and one day going to Amara. When she danced like a torn wagtail in Indra’s court Bengal’s river field, wild violets wept at her feet like anklet bells.
Jibanananda Das (Bengal the Beautiful)
This place, our little cloud forest, even though we missed our papi, it was the most beautiful place you've ever seen. We didn't really know that then, because it was the only place we'd ever seen, except in picture in books and magazines, but now that's I've seen other place, I know. I know how beautiful it was. And we loved it anyway even before we knew. Because the trees had these enormous dark green leaves, as a big as a bed, and they would sway in the wind. And when it rain you could hear the big, fat raindrops splatting onto those giant leaves, and you could only see the sky in bright blue patches if you were walking a long way off to a friend's house or to church or something, when you passed through a clearing and all those leaves would back away and open up and the hot sunshine would beat down all yellow and gold and sticky. And there were waterfalls everywhere with big rock pools where you could take a bath and the water was always warm and it smelled like sunlight. And at night there was the sound of the tree frogs and the music of the rushing water from the falls and all the songs of the night birds, and Mami would make the most delicious chilate, and Abuela would sing to us in the old language, and Soledad and I would gather herbs and dry them and bundle them for Papi to sell in the market when he had a day off, and that's how we passed our days.' Luca can see it. He's there, far away in the misty cloud forest, in a hut with a packed dirt floor and a cool breeze, with Rebeca and Soledad and their mami and abuela, and he can even see their father, far away down the mountain and through the streets of that clogged, enormous city, wearing a long apron and a chef's hat, and his pockets full of dried herbs. Luca can smell the wood of the fire, the cocoa and cinnamon of the chilate, and that's how he knows Rebeca is magical, because she can transport him a thousand miles away into her own mountain homestead just by the sound of her voice.
Jeanine Cummins (American Dirt)
I have gone into the waste lonely places Behind the eye; the lost acres at the edge of smoky cities. What’s beyond never crumbles like an embankment, Explodes like a rose, or thrusts wings over the Caribbean. There are no pursuing forms, faces on walls: Only the motes of dust in the immaculate hallways, The darkness of falling hair, the warning from lint and spiders, The vines graying to a fine powder. There is no riven tree, or lamb dropped by an eagle. There are still times, morning and evening: The cerulean, high in the elm, Thin and insistent as a cicada, And the far phoebe, singing, The long plaintive notes floating down, Drifting through leaves, oak and maple, Or the whippoorwill, along the smoky ridges, A single bird calling and calling: A fume reminds me, drifting across wet gravel; A cold wind comes over stones; A flame, intense, visible, Plays over the dry pods, Runs fitfully along the stubble, Moves over the field, Without burning. In such times, lacking a god, I am still happy.
Theodore Roethke
Indeed, he could not be long in discovering that people beyond a suspicion of unbalance, or not obviously coveting the moment's arrest of attention gained them by their statements, never had experience with or knowledge of the restless dead. Slowly accepting this as evidence that no such things existed, Mr. Lecky found terrors deeper, and to him more plausible, to fill that unoccupied place - the simple sense of himself alone, and, not unassociated with it, the conception of a homicidal maniac quietly pursuing him. The first was exemplified by chance solitude in what he had considered deep woods. No part in it was played by natural dismay which he might have felt at finding himself lost, and none by any tangible suggestion of danger. Mr. Lecky could not even remember where or when it was. Long ago, under a seamless gray sky which would probably end with snow; in an autumnal silence free from birds, unmoved by the least breath of wind, he had come to be walking at random impulse. Leaves, yellow, tan, drifted deep and loose over the difficulties of an uneven hillside. His feet crashed and crackled in them. He was not going anywhere. He had nothing in mind. It might have been this receptive vacancy of thought which let him, little by little, grow aware of a menace. The unnatural light leaf-buried ground, the low dark sky, the solitary noise of his unskilled progress - none of them was good. He began to notice that though the fall of leaves left an apparent bright openness, in reality it merely pushed to a distance the point at which the woods became as impenetrable as a wall. He walked more and more slowly, listening, hearing nothing; looking, seeing nothing. Soon he stopped, for he was not going any farther. Standing in the deep leaves beneath trees bare and practically dead in the catalepsy of impending winter, he knew that he did not want to be here. A great evil - no more to be named than, met, to be escaped - waited fairly close. So he left. He got out of those woods onto an open road where he need not watch for anything he could not see.
James Gould Cozzens (Castaway)
Sadhana The body responds the moment it is in touch with the earth. That is why spiritual people in India walked barefoot and always sat on the ground in a posture that allowed for maximum area of contact with the earth. In this way, the body is given a strong experiential reminder that it is just a part of this earth. Never is the body allowed to forget its origins. When it is allowed to forget, it often starts making fanciful demands; when it is constantly reminded, it knows its place. This contact with the earth is a vital reconnection of the body with its physical source. This restores stability to the system and enhances the human capacity for rejuvenation greatly. This explains why there are so many people who claim that their lives have been magically transformed just by taking up a simple outdoor activity like gardening. Today, the many artificial ways in which we distance ourselves from the earth—in the form of pavements and multi-storied structures, or even the widespread trend of wearing high heels—involves an alienation of the part from the whole and suffocates the fundamental life process. This alienation manifests in large-scale autoimmune disorders and chronic allergic conditions. If you tend to fall sick very easily, you could just try sleeping on the floor (or with minimal organic separation between yourself and the floor). You will see it will make a big difference. Also, try sitting closer to the ground. Additionally, if you can find a tree that looks lively to you, in terms of an abundance of fresh leaves or flowers, go spend some time around it. If possible, have your breakfast or lunch under that tree. As you sit under the tree, remind yourself: “This very earth is my body. I take this body from the earth and give it back to the earth. I consciously ask Mother Earth now to sustain me, hold me, keep me well.” You will find your body’s ability to recover is greatly enhanced. Or if you have turned all your trees into furniture, collect some fresh soil and cover your feet and hands with it. Stay that way for twenty to thirty minutes. This could help your recovery significantly.
Sadhguru (Inner Engineering: A Yogi's Guide to Joy)
The street sprinkler went past and, as its rasping rotary broom spread water over the tarmac, half the pavement looked as if it had been painted with a dark stain. A big yellow dog had mounted a tiny white bitch who stood quite still. In the fashion of colonials the old gentleman wore a light jacket, almost white, and a straw hat. Everything held its position in space as if prepared for an apotheosis. In the sky the towers of Notre-Dame gathered about themselves a nimbus of heat, and the sparrows – minor actors almost invisible from the street – made themselves at home high up among the gargoyles. A string of barges drawn by a tug with a white and red pennant had crossed the breadth of Paris and the tug lowered its funnel, either in salute or to pass under the Pont Saint-Louis. Sunlight poured down rich and luxuriant, fluid and gilded as oil, picking out highlights on the Seine, on the pavement dampened by the sprinkler, on a dormer window, and on a tile roof on the Île Saint-Louis. A mute, overbrimming life flowed from each inanimate thing, shadows were violet as in impressionist canvases, taxis redder on the white bridge, buses greener. A faint breeze set the leaves of a chestnut tree trembling, and all down the length of the quai there rose a palpitation which drew voluptuously nearer and nearer to become a refreshing breath fluttering the engravings pinned to the booksellers’ stalls. People had come from far away, from the four corners of the earth, to live that one moment. Sightseeing cars were lined up on the parvis of Notre-Dame, and an agitated little man was talking through a megaphone. Nearer to the old gentleman, to the bookseller dressed in black, an American student contemplated the universe through the view-finder of his Leica. Paris was immense and calm, almost silent, with her sheaves of light, her expanses of shadow in just the right places, her sounds which penetrated the silence at just the right moment. The old gentleman with the light-coloured jacket had opened a portfolio filled with coloured prints and, the better to look at them, propped up the portfolio on the stone parapet. The American student wore a red checked shirt and was coatless. The bookseller on her folding chair moved her lips without looking at her customer, to whom she was speaking in a tireless stream. That was all doubtless part of the symphony. She was knitting. Red wool slipped through her fingers. The white bitch’s spine sagged beneath the weight of the big male, whose tongue was hanging out. And then when everything was in its place, when the perfection of that particular morning reached an almost frightening point, the old gentleman died without saying a word, without a cry, without a contortion while he was looking at his coloured prints, listening to the voice of the bookseller as it ran on and on, to the cheeping of the sparrows, the occasional horns of taxis. He must have died standing up, one elbow on the stone ledge, a total lack of astonishment in his blue eyes. He swayed and fell to the pavement, dragging along with him the portfolio with all its prints scattered about him. The male dog wasn’t at all frightened, never stopped. The woman let her ball of wool fall from her lap and stood up suddenly, crying out: ‘Monsieur Bouvet!
Georges Simenon
You’re good at this,” said Ronan. “What?” He leaned to touch the baby’s head. “Being a mother.” “What is that supposed to mean?” Ronan looked awkward. Then he said glibly, “Nothing, if you don’t like it.” He glanced at Benix, Faris, and the others, but they were discussing thumbscrews and nooses. “It didn’t mean anything. I take it back.” Kestrel set the baby on the grass next to Faris. “You cannot take it back.” “Just this once,” he said, echoing her earlier words during the game. She stood and walked away. He followed. “Come, Kestrel. I spoke only the truth.” They had entered the shade of thickly grown laran trees, whose leaves were a bloody color. They would soon fall. “It’s not that I wouldn’t want to have a child someday,” Kestrel told Ronan. Visibly relieved, he said, “Good. The empire needs new life.” It did. She knew this. As the Valorian empire stretched across the continent, it faced the problem of keeping what it had won. The solutions were military prowess and boosting the Valorian population, so the emperor prohibited any activities that unnecessarily endangered Valorian lives--like dueling and the bull-jumping games that used to mark coming-of-age ceremonies. Marriage became mandatory by the age of twenty for anyone who was not a soldier. “It’s just--” Kestrel tried again: “Ronan, I feel trapped. Between what my father wants and--” He held up his hands in flat-palmed defense. “I am not trying to trap you. I am your friend.” “I know. But when you are faced with only two choices--the military or marriage--don’t you wonder if there is a third, or a fourth, or more, even, than that?” “You have many choices. The law says that in three years you must marry, but not whom. Anyway, there is time.” His should grazed hers in the teasing push of children starting a mock fight. “Time enough for me to convince you of the right choice.” “Benix, of course.” She laughed. “Benix.” Ronan made a fist and shook it at the sky. “Benix!” he shouted. “I challenge you to a duel! Where are you, you great oaf?” Ronan stormed from the laran trees with all the flair of a comic actor. Kestrel smiled, watching him go. Maybe his silly flirtations disguised something real. People’s feelings were hard to know for certain. A conversation with Ronan resembled a Bite and Sting game where Kestrel couldn’t tell if the truth looked like a lie, or a lie like the truth. If it was true, what then?
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
You are like me, you will die too, but not today: you, incommensurate, therefore the hours shine: if I say to you “To you I say,” you have not been set to music, or broadcast live on the ghost radio, may never be an oil painting or Old Master’s charcoal sketch: you are a concordance of person, number, voice, and place, strawberries spread through your name as if it were budding shrubs, how you remind me of some spring, the waters as cool and clear (late rain clings to your leaves, shaken by light wind), which is where you occur in grassy moonlight: and you are a lily, an aster, white trillium or viburnum, by all rights mine, white star in the meadow sky, the snow still arriving from its earthwards journeys, here where there is no snow (I dreamed the snow was you, when there was snow), you are my right, have come to be my night (your body takes on the dimensions of sleep, the shape of sleep becomes you): and you fall from the sky with several flowers, words spill from your mouth in waves, your lips taste like the sea, salt-sweet (trees and seas have flown away, I call it loving you): home is nowhere, therefore you, a kind of dwell and welcome, song after all, and free of any eden we can name.
Reginald Shepherd
Sunday Morning V She says, "But in contentment I still feel The need of some imperishable bliss." Death is the mother of beauty; hence from her, Alone, shall come fulfilment to our dreams And our desires. Although she strews the leaves Of sure obliteration on our paths, The path sick sorrow took, the many paths Where triumph rang its brassy phrase, or love Whispered a little out of tenderness, She makes the willow shiver in the sun For maidens who were wont to sit and gaze Upon the grass, relinquished to their feet. She causes boys to pile new plums and pears On disregarded plate. The maidens taste And stray impassioned in the littering leaves. VI Is there no change of death in paradise? Does ripe fruit never fall? Or do the boughs Hang always heavy in that perfect sky, Unchanging, yet so like our perishing earth, With rivers like our own that seek for seas They never find, the same receding shores That never touch with inarticulate pang? Why set the pear upon those river-banks Or spice the shores with odors of the plum? Alas, that they should wear our colors there, The silken weavings of our afternoons, And pick the strings of our insipid lutes! Death is the mother of beauty, mystical, Within whose burning bosom we devise Our earthly mothers waiting, sleeplessly. VII Supple and turbulent, a ring of men Shall chant in orgy on a summer morn Their boisterous devotion to the sun, Not as a god, but as a god might be, Naked among them, like a savage source. Their chant shall be a chant of paradise, Out of their blood, returning to the sky; And in their chant shall enter, voice by voice, The windy lake wherein their lord delights, The trees, like serafin, and echoing hills, That choir among themselves long afterward. They shall know well the heavenly fellowship Of men that perish and of summer morn. And whence they came and whither they shall go The dew upon their feet shall manifest. VIII She hears, upon that water without sound, A voice that cries, "The tomb in Palestine Is not the porch of spirits lingering. It is the grave of Jesus, where he lay." We live in an old chaos of the sun, Or old dependency of day and night, Or island solitude, unsponsored, free, Of that wide water, inescapable. Deer walk upon our mountains, and the quail Whistle about us their spontaneous cries; Sweet berries ripen in the wilderness; And, in the isolation of the sky, At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make Ambiguous undulations as they sink, Downward to darkness, on extended wings
Wallace Stevens
Separately they surveyed their individual plates, trying to decide which item was most likely to be edible. They arrived at the same conclusion at the same moment; both of them picked up a strip of bacon and bit into it. Noisy crunching and cracking sounds ensued-like those of a large tree breaking in half and falling. Carefully avoiding each other’s eyes, they continued crunching away until they’d both eaten all the bacon on their plates. That finished, Elizabeth summoned her courage and took a dainty bite of egg. The egg tasted like tough, salted wrapping paper, but Elizabeth chewed manfully on it, her stomach churning with humiliation and a lump of tears starting to swell in her throat. She expected some scathing comment at any moment from her companion, and the more politely he continued eating, the more she wished he’d revert to his usual unpleasant self so that she’d at least have the defense of anger. Lately everything that happened to her was humiliating, and her pride and confidence were in tatters. Leaving the egg unfinished, she put down her fork and tried the biscuit. After several seconds of attempting to break a piece off with her fingers she picked up her knife and sawed away at it. A brown piece finally broke loose; she lifted it to her mouth and bit-but it was so tough her teeth only made grooves on the surface. Across the table she felt Ian’s eyes on her, and the urge to weep doubled. “Would you like some coffee?” she asked in a suffocated little voice. “Yes, thank you.” Relieved to have a moment to compose herself, Elizabeth arose and went to the stove, but her eyes blurred with tears as she blindly filled a mug with freshly brewed coffee. She brought it over to him, then sat down again. Sliding a glance at the defeated girl sitting with her head bent and her hands folded in her lap, Ian felt a compulsive urge to either laugh or comfort her, but since chewing was requiring such an effort, he couldn’t do either. Swallowing the last piece of egg, he finally managed to say, “That was…er…quite filling.” Thinking perhaps he hadn’t found it so bad as she had, Elizabeth hesitantly raised her eyes to his. “I haven’t had a great deal of experience with cooking,” she admitted in a small voice. She watched him take a mouthful of coffee, saw his eyes widen with shock-and he began to chew the coffee. Elizabeth lurched to her feet, squired her shoulders, and said hoarsely, “I always take a stroll after breakfast. Excuse me.” Still chewing, Ian watched her flee from the house, then he gratefully got rid of the mouthful of coffee grounds.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Fall behind me States! A man before all—myself, typical, before all. Give me the pay I have served for, Give me to sing the songs of the great Idea, take all the rest, I have loved the earth, sun, animals, I have despised riches, I have given aims to every one that ask'd, stood up for the stupid and crazy, devoted my income and labor to others, Hated tyrants, argued not concerning God, had patience and indulgence toward the people, taken off my hat to nothing known or unknown, Gone freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young, and with the mothers of families, Read these leaves to myself in the open air, tried them by trees, stars, rivers, Dismiss'd whatever insulted my own soul or defiled my body, Claim'd nothing to myself which I have not carefully claim'd for others on the same terms, Sped to the camps, and comrades found and accepted from every State, (Upon this breast has many a dying soldier lean'd to breathe his last, This arm, this hand, this voice, have nourish'd, rais'd, restored, To life recalling many a prostrate form;) I am willing to wait to be understood by the growth of the taste of myself, Rejecting none, permitting all. (Say O Mother, have I not to your thought been faithful? Have I not through life kept you and yours before me?)
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Absence " Then the birds stitching the dawn with their song have patterned your name. Then the green bowl of the garden filling with light is your gaze. Then the lawn lengthening and warming itself is your skin. Then a cloud disclosing itself overhead is your opening hand. Then the first seven bells from the church pine on the air. Then the sun's soft bite on my face is your mouth. Then a bee in a rose is your fingertip touching me here. Then the trees bending and meshing their leaves are what we would do. Then my steps to the river are text to a prayer printing the ground. Then the river searching its bank for your shape is desire. Then a fish nuzzling for the water's throat has a lover's ease. Then a shawl of sunlight dropped in the grass is a garment discarded. Then a sudden scatter of summer rain is your tongue. Then a butterfly paused on a trembling leaf is your breath. Then the gauzy mist relaxed on the ground is your pose. Then the fruit from the cherry tree falling on grass is your kiss, your kiss. Then the day's hours are theatres of air where I watch you entranced. Then the sun's light going down from the sky is the length of your back. Then the evening bells over the rooftops are lovers' vows. Then the river staring up, lovesick for the moon, is my long night. Then the stars between us are love urging its light.
Carol Ann Duffy (Rapture)
Augustine, who assumed that Genesis 1 was chapter 1 in a book that contained the literal words of God, and that Genesis 2 was the second chapter in the same book, put the two chapters together and read the latter as a sequel. Genesis 2, he assumed, described the fall from the perfection and original goodness of creation depicted in chapter 1. So almost inevitably the Christian scriptures from the fourth century on were interpreted against the background of this (mis) understanding. The primary trouble with this theory was that by the fourth century of the Common Era there were no Jews to speak of left in the Christian movement, and therefore the only readers and interpreters of the ancient Hebrew myths were Gentiles, who had no idea what these stories originally meant. Consequently, they interpreted them as perfection established by God in chapter 1, followed by perfection ruined by human beings in chapter 2. Why was that a problem? Well I, for one, have never known a Jewish scripture scholar to treat the Garden of Eden story in the same way that Gentiles treat it. Jews tend to see this story not as a narrative about sin entering the world, but as a parable about the birth of self-consciousness. It is, for the Jews, not a fall into sin, but a step into humanity. It is the birth of a new relationship with God, changing from master-servant to interdependent cooperation. The forbidden fruit was not from an apple tree, as so many who don’t bother to read the text seem to think. It was rather from “the tree of knowledge,” and the primary thing that one gained from eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge was the ability to discern good from evil. Gaining that ability did not, in the minds of the Jewish readers of the book of Genesis, corrupt human nature. It simply made people take responsibility for their freely made decisions. A slave has no such freedom. The job of the slave is simply to obey, not to think. The job of the slave-master is to command. Thus the relationship of the master to the slave is a relationship of the strong to the weak, the parent to the child, the king to the serf, the boss to the worker. If human beings were meant to live in that kind of relationship with God, then humanity would have been kept in a perpetual state of irresponsible, childlike immaturity. Adam and Eve had to leave the Garden of Eden, not because they had disobeyed God’s rules, but because, when self-consciousness was born, they could no longer live in childlike dependency. Adam and Eve discovered, as every child ultimately must discover, that maturity requires that the child leave his or her parents’ home, just as every bird sooner or later must leave its nest and learn to fly on its own. To be forced out of the Garden of Eden was, therefore, not a punishment for sin, so much as it was a step into maturity.
John Shelby Spong (Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy: A Journey into a New Christianity Through the Doorway of Matthew's Gospel)
Sheltered Garden" I have had enough. I gasp for breath. Every way ends, every road, every foot-path leads at last to the hill-crest-- then you retrace your steps, or find the same slope on the other side, precipitate. I have had enough-- border-pinks, clove-pinks, wax-lilies, herbs, sweet-cress. O for some sharp swish of a branch-- there is no scent of resin in this place, no taste of bark, of coarse weeds, aromatic, astringent-- only border on border of scented pinks. Have you seen fruit under cover that wanted light-- pears wadded in cloth, protected from the frost, melons, almost ripe, smothered in straw? Why not let the pears cling to the empty branch? All your coaxing will only make a bitter fruit-- let them cling, ripen of themselves, test their own worth, nipped, shrivelled by the frost, to fall at last but fair With a russet coat. Or the melon-- let it bleach yellow in the winter light, even tart to the taste-- it is better to taste of frost-- the exquisite frost-- than of wadding and of dead grass. For this beauty, beauty without strength, chokes out life. I want wind to break, scatter these pink-stalks, snap off their spiced heads, fling them about with dead leaves-- spread the paths with twigs, limbs broken off, trail great pine branches, hurled from some far wood right across the melon-patch, break pear and quince-- leave half-trees, torn, twisted but showing the fight was valiant. O to blot out this garden to forget, to find a new beauty in some terrible wind-tortured place.
H.D.
William sees it all happen again. The pain is not in the event. The subjection to it and his powerless state each time is where his anguish lies. He is unable to influence the situation, despite his desire. He sees the nest outside his house. He sees the baby bird that fell. The mother bird cries frantically for her lost chick. William knows as he approaches the chick that if he touches it his scent will linger, and the mother will reject it. Circling around the fallen creature William hopes it will flee from him, back toward the tree from which it had fallen. His presence only intensifies the creature’s fear. It speeds to his left, heading for the street. Again William tries to flank the bird, but it is too frightened to return to the nest. The chick’s mother wails vainly. William walks into the street trying to herd the bird to safety. The stop light a block away has just turned green. The driver accelerates. William moves from the car’s path and it runs over the bird. The momentum from its wake lifts the bird to the underside of the car, breaking its neck, but not killing it. William watches the bird roll helplessly. It is silent for a second, before it begins to whimper. Its contorted head dangles limply from its body. The noise is tragic. The bird’s mother hears the chick’s pain, but nothing can be done. She laments. A second speeder crushes the chick, leaving only a wet feathered spot in the street. As the cars continue to pass, only one bird is heard. A mother’s grief falls deafly on an unconcerned world.
M.R. Gott (Where The Dead Fear to Tread)
14 The name of the third river is Hiddekel, which flows east of Assyria, and the fourth river is the Ubraded. 15 The LORD God brought him to the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and to keep it. 16 The LORD God commanded the man, saying, "You will eat the fruit of the various trees of the garden. 카톡【AKR331】텔레【RDH705】위커【SPR705】라인【98K33】 지금까지 단 한번의 가품으로 스캔들 난적도 없을뿐더러, 사고율 0% 재구매율 1등 추천율 1등 합리적인 패키지 가격으로 믿음과 신뢰가 두터운 업체 입니다. 여성의교감신경을 자극하여 자연스러운 섹스를 원하는등 뜨거운 밤이나 섹다른 xx를 해보고싶은 분들에게 추천해드릴께요 여성최음제,여성흥분제 정품진품으로 판매합니다 17 Do not eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for in the day you eat, you will surely die. " 18 The LORD God said, "It is not good for a man to live alone; I will make a helping hand for him." 19 And the LORD God formed the earth, and the beasts of the field, and the birds of the air, and brought them unto him to see what he called, and it became his name to call every living creature. 20 And Adam gave names to all the livestock, to the birds of the air, and to all the beasts of the field. Because Adam had no helpers 21 The LORD God caused Adam to fall asleep, and he fell asleep, and he took one of his ribs and filled him with flesh instead. 22 The LORD God made a woman with the rib he had taken from Adam, and brought him to Adam. 23 Then Adam said, "This is the bone of my bones, and the flesh of my flesh; for I have taken it from a man, and shall call it a woman. 24 Therefore, a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall marry his wife, and they shall be one flesh. 25 Both Adam and his wife were naked, but they were not ashamed.
The name of the third river is Hiddekel, which flows east of Assyria, and the fourth river is the Ub
Abruptly Nick stood and seized her by the hand. “Come on. We need to go outside. This will work better with show-and-tell.” He trudged through the woods, dragging her behind him. She could feel the tension in his grip. Whatever his secret was, it had him keyed up. The sun had already begun to dip behind the horizon, letting a chill seep into the air. “Keep walking,” he said. “I need some distance from the neighborhood.” “Your secret is in the woods?” said Quinn, shivering. “Dude, if you turn into a werewolf, I am outta here.” He smiled, then stopped and turned to face her. “I’m not a werewolf.” “Vampire? Alien?” She snapped her fingers. “Harry Potter. Or wait, you’d be one of the Weasley twins . . .” “If you could shut up a second, I’d tell you.” “Should I hold your hands? Are we going to phase out and appear in Narnia?” “No.” He glanced around. “If any trees fall, I don’t want them to hit a house.” Trees falling? What? “So you’re secretly Paul Bunyan?” “Quinn.” She shivered again. “What? Seriously, Nick, what’s out here?” “Air.” As he said the word, the breeze kicked up, finding a true wind that ruffled his hair and swirled between them. Leaves shifted and rustled along the ground. Quinn frowned. “Air?” Nick nodded. His expression said that she was missing something important. But . . . air? Air was everywhere. Leaves lifted from the ground and began to spiral around their feet. She started to shiver again—but then the leaves swirled off the ground, forming a moving wall to enclose them. First two feet high, then three, then eye level. Quinn felt the first lick of fear. She moved closer to him— then wondered if that was worse than moving away. “You’re freaking me out a little, Nick. Is the mother ship landing?” “Relax.” He spoke gently, confidently. “It’s just wind.
Brigid Kemmerer (Secret (Elemental, #4))
Wave after wave of an orgasm broke over her, but soon it would be over for him. “Stop,” Livia panted. Blake paused as Livia swallowed to try to compose herself. She was here for a reason. “The mask. Take it off. I want you to kiss me.” Livia watched his eyes. He was scared. “Blake, you’re inside of me. I’ll keep you safe. You’re inside of me.” Livia squeezed him again, reminding him exactly where he was. Blake smiled at the sensation. “Do it for me, Livia. Please.” And even though they were naked and locked in the most intimate embrace, this was the striptease. Livia went slowly, rolling up the knit ski mask like a stocking. First his jaw came into the light. Livia slowed, tracing its strong line with her finger. Next, his lips lost their frame, then his eyes left their prison. He closed them. Finally, his wild, messy hair was free. Livia tossed the mask aside. And waited. Open your eyes. After a moment Blake looked around his sunny meadow. A breeze stirred the trees high up, and they released a shower of fall colors. In the silence of the day, the leaves hitting the ground sounded like applause. Quiet applause for a quiet victory. The o in sorry vanished. Blake looked at Livia beneath him. She smiled. “Five hundred ninety-eight,” he whispered. Still counting. “Yes! Yes. I knew you could do this. I knew you could do this.” Livia beamed with pride. Blake blurred as her eyes became two pools of tears. He kissed her softly, but Livia wanted the rough thrusts back. She pulled away and wiped her eyes. “Giddy up!” Livia spanked Blake playfully. He gave a little chuckle before he put her out of her misery. If she thought he was going fast and hard before, she was wrong. Blake was almost done when he let Livia’s leg slip from his shoulder. He kissed her with his clever tongue and moaned loudly into her mouth.
Debra Anastasia (Poughkeepsie (Poughkeepsie Brotherhood, #1))
Quote from "The Dish Keepers of Honest House" ....TO TWIST THE COLD is easy when its only water you want. Tapping of the toothbrush echoes into Ella's mind like footsteps clacking a cobbled street on a bitter, dry, cold morning. Her mind pushes through sleep her body craves. It catches her head falling into a warm, soft pillow. "Go back to bed," she tells herself. "You're still asleep," Ella mumbles, pushes the blanket off, and sits up. The urgency to move persuades her to keep routines. Water from the faucet runs through paste foam like a miniature waterfall. Ella rubs sleep-deprieved eyes, then the bridge of her nose and glances into the sink. Ella's eyes astutely fixate for one, brief millisecond. Water becomes the burgundy of soldiers exiting the drain. Her mouth drops in shock. The flow turns green. It is like the bubbling fungus of flockless, fishless, stagnating ponds. Within the iridescent glimmer of her thinking -- like a brain losing blood flow, Ella's focus is the flickering flashing of gray, white dust, coal-black shadows and crows lifting from the ground. A half minute or two trails off before her mind returns to reality. Ella grasps a toothbrush between thumb and index finger. She rests the outer palm against the sink's edge, breathes in and then exhales. Tension in the brow subsides, and her chest and shoulders drop; she sighs. Ella stares at pasty foam. It exits the drain as if in a race to clear the sink of negativity -- of all germs, slimy spit, the burgundy of imagined soldiers and oppressive plaque. GRASPING THE SILKY STRAND between her fingers, Ella tucks, pulls and slides the floss gently through her teeth. Her breath is an inch or so of the mirror. Inspections leave her demeanor more alert. Clouding steam of the image tugs her conscience. She gazes into silver glass. Bits of hair loosen from the bun piled at her head's posterior. What transforms is what she imagines. The mirror becomes a window. The window possesses her Soul and Spirit. These two become concerned -- much like they did when dishonest housekeepers disrupted Ella's world in another story. Before her is a glorious bird -- shining-dark-as-coal, shimmering in hues of purple-black and black-greens. It is likened unto The Raven in Edgar Allan Poe's most famous poem of 1845. Instead of interrupting a cold December night with tapping on a chamber door, it rests its claws in the decorative, carved handle of a backrest on a stiff dining chair. It projects an air of humor and concern. It moves its head to and fro while seeking a clearer understanding. Ella studies the bird. It is surrounded in lofty bends and stretches of leafless, acorn-less, nearly lifeless, oak trees. Like fingers and arms these branches reach below. [Perhaps they are reaching for us? Rest assured; if they had designs on us, I would be someplace else, writing about something more pleasant and less frightening. Of course, you would be asleep.] Balanced in the branches is a chair. It is from Ella's childhood home. The chair sways. Ella imagines modern-day pilgrims of a distant shore. Each step is as if Mother Nature will position them upright like dolls, blown from the stability of their plastic, flat, toe-less feet. These pilgrims take fate by the hand. LIFTING A TOWEL and patting her mouth and hands, Ella pulls the towel through the rack. She walks to the bedroom, sits and picks up the newspaper. Thumbing through pages that leave fingertips black, she reads headlines: "Former Dentist Guilty of Health Care Fraud." She flips the page, pinches the tip of her nose and brushes the edge of her chin -- smearing both with ink. In the middle fold directly affront her eyes is another headline: "Dentist Punished for Misconduct." She turns the page. There is yet another: "Dentist guilty of urinating in surgery sink and using contaminated dental instruments on patients." This world contains those who are simply insane! Every profession has those who stray from goals....
Helene Andorre Hinson Staley
Unchopping a Tree. Start with the leaves, the small twigs, and the nests that have been shaken, ripped, or broken off by the fall; these must be gathered and attached once again to their respective places. It is not arduous work, unless major limbs have been smashed or mutilated. If the fall was carefully and correctly planned, the chances of anything of the kind happening will have been reduced. Again, much depends upon the size, age, shape, and species of the tree. Still, you will be lucky if you can get through this stages without having to use machinery. Even in the best of circumstances it is a labor that will make you wish often that you had won the favor of the universe of ants, the empire of mice, or at least a local tribe of squirrels, and could enlist their labors and their talents. But no, they leave you to it. They have learned, with time. This is men's work. It goes without saying that if the tree was hollow in whole or in part, and contained old nests of bird or mammal or insect, or hoards of nuts or such structures as wasps or bees build for their survival, the contents will have to repaired where necessary, and reassembled, insofar as possible, in their original order, including the shells of nuts already opened. With spider's webs you must simply do the best you can. We do not have the spider's weaving equipment, nor any substitute for the leaf's living bond with its point of attachment and nourishment. It is even harder to simulate the latter when the leaves have once become dry — as they are bound to do, for this is not the labor of a moment. Also it hardly needs saying that this the time fro repairing any neighboring trees or bushes or other growth that might have been damaged by the fall. The same rules apply. Where neighboring trees were of the same species it is difficult not to waste time conveying a detached leaf back to the wrong tree. Practice, practice. Put your hope in that. Now the tackle must be put into place, or the scaffolding, depending on the surroundings and the dimension of the tree. It is ticklish work. Almost always it involves, in itself, further damage to the area, which will have to be corrected later. But, as you've heard, it can't be helped. And care now is likely to save you considerable trouble later. Be careful to grind nothing into the ground. At last the time comes for the erecting of the trunk. By now it will scarcely be necessary to remind you of the delicacy of this huge skeleton. Every motion of the tackle, every slightly upward heave of the trunk, the branches, their elaborately reassembled panoply of leaves (now dead) will draw from you an involuntary gasp. You will watch for a lead or a twig to be snapped off yet again. You will listen for the nuts to shift in the hollow limb and you will hear whether they are indeed falling into place or are spilling in disorder — in which case, or in the event of anything else of the kind — operations will have to cease, of course, while you correct the matter. The raising itself is no small enterprise, from the moment when the chains tighten around the old bandages until the boles hands vertical above the stump, splinter above splinter. How the final straightening of the splinters themselves can take place (the preliminary work is best done while the wood is still green and soft, but at times when the splinters are not badly twisted most of the straightening is left until now, when the torn ends are face to face with each other). When the splinters are perfectly complementary the appropriate fixative is applied. Again we have no duplicate of the original substance. Ours is extremely strong, but it is rigid. It is limited to surfaces, and there is no play in it. However the core is not the part of the trunk that conducted life from the roots up to the branches and back again. It was relatively inert. The fixative for this part is not the same as the one for the outer layers and the bark, and if either of these is involved
W.S. Merwin
By the time Bond had taken in these details, he had come to within fifty yards of the two men. He was reflecting on the ranges of various types of weapon and the possibilities of cover when an extraordinary and terrible scene was enacted. Red-man seemed to give a short nod to Blue-man. With a quick movement Blue-man unslung his blue camera case. Blue-man, and Bond could not see exactly as the trunk of a plane-tree beside him just then intervened to obscure his vision, bent forward and seemed to fiddle with the case. Then with a blinding flash of white light there was the ear-splitting crack of a monstrous explosion and Bond, despite the protection of the tree-trunk, was slammed down to the pavement by a solid bolt of hot air which dented his cheeks and stomach as if they had been made of paper. He lay, gazing up at the sun, while the air (or so it seemed to him) went on twanging with the explosion as if someone had hit the bass register of a piano with a sledgehammer. When, dazed and half-conscious, he raised himself on one knee, a ghastly rain of pieces of flesh and shreds of blood-soaked clothing fell on him and around him, mingled with branches and gravel. Then a shower of small twigs and leaves. From all sides came the sharp tinkle of falling glass. Above in the sky hung a mushroom of black smoke which rose and dissolved as he drunkenly watched it. There was an obscene smell of high explosive, of burning wood, and of, yes, that was it – roast mutton. For fifty yards down the boulevard the trees were leafless and charred. Opposite, two of them had snapped off near the base and lay drunkenly across the road. Between them there was a still smoking crater. Of the two men in straw hats, there remained absolutely nothing. But there were red traces on the road, and on the pavements and against the trunks of the trees, and there were glittering shreds high up in the branches. Bond felt himself starting to vomit. It was Mathis who got to him first, and by that time Bond was standing with his arm round the tree which had saved his life.
Ian Fleming (Casino Royale (James Bond, #1))
It was clear just how much Tommy loved the city. New York City. The CKY Grocery on Amsterdam had giant, bright red Spartan apples every day of the year, even if it wasn’t the right season. He loved that grocery, and the old, shaky Persian man who owned it. Tommy emphatically, yet erroneously believed that the CKY Grocery was the genuine heart of the great city. All five boroughs embodied distinct feelings for him, but there was only one that he’d ever truly romanticized. To him, Manhattan was the entire world. He loved everything between the East River and the Hudson; from the Financial District up to Harlem; from Avenue A to Zabar’s. He loved the four seasons, although autumn was easily the most anticipated. To Tommy, Central Park’s bright, almost copper hues in the fall were the epitome of orange. He loved the unique perfume of deli meats and subway steam. He loved the rain with such verve that every time it so much as drizzled, he would turn to the sky so he could feel the drops sprinkle onto his teeth. Because every raindrop that hit him had already experienced that much envied journey from the tips of the skyscrapers all the way down to the cracked and foot-stamped sidewalks. He believed every inch of the city had its own predetermined genre of music that suited it to a tee. The modal jazz of Miles Davis and Wayne Shorter was absolutely meant for the Upper East Side, north of 61st Street. Precisely between Gershwin and gospel. He loved the view from his apartment, even if it was just the leaves of the tree outside in July or the thin shadows of its bare branches crawling along the plain brick wall in January. Tommy loved his career. He loved his friends. And he loved that first big bite of apple I watched him take each and every morning. Everything was perfect in the city, and as long as things remained the way he wanted them to, Tommy would continue to love the city forever. Which is exactly why his jaw dropped when he opened the letter he found in his mailbox that morning. The first bite of still un-chewed apple fell out of his mouth and firmly planted itself within the crack of that 113th Street sidewalk.
Ryan Tim Morris (The Falling)
So at last Ilar Sant came to this wood, which people now call St. Hilary's wood because they have forgotten all about Ilar. And he was weary with his wandering, and the day was very hot; so he stayed by this well and began to drink. And there on that great stone he saw the shining fish, and so he rested, and built an altar and a church of willow boughs, and offered the sacrifice not only for the quick and the dead, but for all the wild beasts of the woods and the streams. "And when this blessed Ilar rang his holy bell and began to offer, there came not only the Prince and his servants, but all the creatures of the wood. There, under the hazel boughs, you might see the hare, which flies so swiftly from men, come gently and fall down, weeping greatly on account of the Passion of the Son of Mary. And, beside the hare, the weasel and the pole-cat would lament grievously in the manner of penitent sinners; and wolves and lambs together adored the saint's hierurgy; and men have beheld tears streaming from the eyes of venomous serpents when Ilar Agios uttered 'Curiluson' with a loud voice—since the serpent is not ignorant that by its wickedness sorrow came to the whole world. And when, in the time of the holy ministry, it is necessary that frequent Alleluyas should be chanted and vociferated, the saint wondered what should be done, for as yet none in that place was skilled in the art of song. Then was a great miracle, since from all the boughs of the wood, from every bush and from every green tree, there resounded Alleluyas in enchanting and prolonged harmony; never did the Bishop of Rome listen to so sweet a singing in his church as was heard in this wood. For the nightingale and thrush and blackbird and blackcap, and all their companions, are gathered together and sing praises to the Lord, chanting distinct notes and yet concluding in a melody of most ravishing sweetness; such was the mass of the Fisherman. Nor was this all, for one day as the saint prayed beside the well he became aware that a bee circled round and round his head, uttering loud buzzing sounds, but not endeavouring to sting him. To be short; the bee went before Ilar, and led him to a hollow tree not far off, and straightway a swarm of bees issued forth, leaving a vast store of wax behind them. This was their oblation to the Most High, for from their wax Ilar Sant made goodly candles to burn at the Offering; and from that time the bee is holy, because his wax makes light to shine upon the Gifts.
Arthur Machen (The Secret Glory)
What did it look like?” “My watch? It was silver. Not expensive or anything. Just a regular watch.” “Shiny?” “I guess.” “Raccoons.” Determined not to say anything stupid for at least the next ten minutes, she considered his single-word statement. Raccoons? Okay. He probably hadn’t started a word-association game, so what did he mean? Going with the safest response, she cautiously repeated, “Raccoons?” “They like shiny things. Take off with them whenever they can.” “You’re saying a raccoon stole my watch?” “Probably.” She really wanted to point out that they couldn’t possibly tell time, but knew instinctively that was a bad idea. “Can I get it back?” “Sure. If you can find it.” Could she? She glanced around at the underbrush, the trees, the stream. “Is it safe for me to go exploring?” she asked. “You’re not likely to be attacked by raccoons, but you’ll probably get lost, fall down a ravine, break your leg and starve to death. But if the watch is that important to you, have at it.” She felt herself deflating. “You don’t like me much, do you?” she asked sadly. She half expected Zane to stalk away, but instead he exhaled and shook his head. “Sorry.” She blinked. “What?” “I said I’m sorry.” Had the earth stopped turning, or had the taciturn hunky cowboy standing in front of her just apologized? “I--you--” She paused for breath. “That’s okay. I guess it was a stupid question.” “No. It was a reasonable question under the circumstances.” He shoved his hands into his pockets. “I get a little sarcastic sometimes.” “Let’s call it a dry sense of humor.” He half nodded in acknowledgement. “You’ll never find them, and even if you did, your watch would probably be all broken up and rusty from them dunking it in the water. Don’t leave out anything they’ll take. Shiny jewelry, another watch.” “I don’t have another watch. Not with me.” “You need to know the time?” “Just when the meals are.” “Cookie rings a bell.” “Really? Just like in the movies?” “Yeah.” One corner of his mouth turned up as he spoke. It wasn’t exactly a smile, but it was close enough to get her breathing up to Mach 3. “Come on,” he said. “It’s nearly time for lunch.” He started back toward the camp. Phoebe followed him happily. “You think the raccoons could ever learn to tell time?” she asked. He glanced at her. “You’re kidding, right?” “Maybe I have a dry sense of humor, too.” “City girl.” He was probably insulting her, but the way he said the word made her feel almost tall and, if not blonde, then certainly highlighted. “I think Rocky likes me,” she confided. “I’m sure he does.
Susan Mallery (Kiss Me (Fool's Gold, #17))
I crossed the garden, staying near the hedgerow borders until the pathway debouched onto one of the lovely brick streets. A quick glance down the street revealed scarcely any traffic--but way up at the other end were two tall, armed individuals wearing blue and black-and-white livery. Which meant the Marquis was somewhere around. For a moment I indulged in a brief but satisfying daydream of scoring him off as I had off the Baron the night before. But amusing as the daydream was, I was not about to go searching him out. First of all, while I didn’t look like I had before, the dress wasn’t much of a disguise; and second…I frowned. Despite his reputation as a fop and a gamester, I wasn’t all that certain he would react as slowly as Debegri had. I retreated back to the garden to think out my next step. Mist was falling, boding ill weather for the remainder of the day. And my stomach felt as if it had been permanently pressed against the back of my spine. I pulled the laces of the bodice tighter, hoping that would help, then sat on a rock and propped my elbows on my knees. “Are you lost?” The voice, a quiet one, made me start violently. My shoulders came up defensively as I turned to face an elderly man. He was elegantly dressed, wearing a fine hat in the latest fashion, and carried no weapons. “Oh no. I was supposed to meet someone here, and…” I shrugged, thinking wildly. “A-a flirt,” I added, I don’t know why. “I guess he changed his mind.” I got to my feet again. The man smiled a little. “It happens more frequently than not when one is young, if you’ll forgive my saying so.” “Oh, I know.” I waved my hands as I backed up one step, then another. “They smile, and dance, and then go off with someone else. But I’ll just find someone better. So I’ll be on my way,” I babbled. He nodded politely, almost a bow, and I whirled around and scurried down the path. Even more intensely than before, I felt that crawling sensation down my spine, so I dropped off the path and circled back. I was slightly reassured when I saw the old man making his way slowly along the path as though nothing out of the ordinary had happened; but my relief was very short lived. As I watched, two equerries in Renselaeus livery strode along the path, overtook the man, and addressed him. I watched with my heart thumping like a drum as the man spoke at some length, brushed his fingers against his face--the scratches from the trees!--and then gestured in the direction I had gone. Expecting the two equerries to immediately take off after me, I braced for a run. Why had I babbled so much? I thought, annoyed with myself. Why didn’t I just say “No” and leave? But the equerries both turned and walked swiftly back in the direction they’d come, and the old man continued on his way. What does that mean? And the answer was not long in coming: They were going back to report. Which meant a whole lot of them searching. And soon.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
Oh, but to get through this night. Why won’t sleep come? What’s bothering me here in the dark? It’s not the badgers, it’s not the snakes. What’s bothering me? Something darker is worrying a hole inside me—look how my legs are trembling. Stop moving, Tatiana. That’s how the carnivores find you, by the flash of life on your body, they find you and eat you while you sleep. Like venomous spiders, they’ll bite you first to lull you into sleep—you won’t even feel it—and then they will gnaw your flesh until nothing remains. But even the animals eating her alive was not the thing that worried the sick hole in Tatiana’s stomach as she lay in the leaves with her face hidden from the forest, with her arms over her head, in case anything decided to fall on her. She should’ve made herself a shelter but it got dark so fast, and she was so sure she would find the lake, she hadn’t been thinking of making herself more comfortable in the woods. She kept walking and walking, and then was downed and breathless and unprepared for pitch black night. To quell the terror inside her, to not hear her own voices, Tatiana whimpered. Lay and cried, low and afraid. What was tormenting her from the inside out? Was it worry over Marina? No... not quite. But close. Something about Marina. Something about Saika... Saika. The girl who caused trouble between Dasha and her dentist boyfriend, the girl who pushed her bike into Tatiana’s bike to make her fall under the tires of a downward truck rushing headlong... the girl who saw Tatiana’s grandmother carrying a sack of sugar and told her mother who told her father who told the Luga Soviet that Vasily Metanov harbored sugar he had no intention of giving up? The girl who did something so unspeakable with her own brother she was nearly killed by her own father’s hand—and she herself had said the boy got worse—and this previously unmentioned brother was, after all, dead. The girl who stood unafraid under rowan trees and sat under a gaggle of crows and did not feel black omens, the girl who told Tatiana her wicked stories, tempted Tatiana with her body, turned away from Marina as Marina was drowning...who turned Marina against Tatiana, the girl who didn’t believe in demons, who thought everything was all good in the universe, could she . . . What if...? What if this was not an accident? Moaning loudly, Tatiana turned away to the other side as if she’d just had a nightmare. But she hadn’t been dreaming. Saika took her compass and her knife. But Marina took her watch. And there it was. That was the thing eating up Tatiana from the inside out. Could Marina have been in on something like this? Twisting from side to side did not assuage her torn stomach, did not mollify her sunken heart. Making anguished noises, her eyes closed, she couldn’t think of fields, or Luga, or swimming, or clover or warm milk, anything. All good thoughts were drowned in the impossible sorrow. Could Marina have betrayed her?
Paullina Simons (The Summer Garden (The Bronze Horseman, #3))
Slothrop is just settling down next to a girl in a prewar Worth frock and with a face like Tenniel’s Alice, same forehead, nose, hair, when from outside comes this most godawful clanking, snarling, crunching of wood, girls come running terrified out of the eucalyptus trees and into the house and right behind them what comes crashing now into the pallid lights of the garden but—why the Sherman Tank itself! headlights burning like the eyes of King Kong, treads spewing grass and pieces of flagstone as it manoeuvres around and comes to a halt. Its 75 mm cannon swivels until it’s pointing through the French windows right down into the room. “Antoine!” a young lady focusing in on the gigantic muzzle, “for heaven’s sake, not now. . . .” A hatch flies open and Tamara—Slothrop guesses: wasn’t Italo supposed to have the tank?—uh—emerges shrieking to denounce Raoul, Waxwing, Italo, Theophile, and the middleman on the opium deal. “But now,” she screams, “I have you all! One coup de foudre!” The hatch drops—oh, Jesus—there’s the sound of a 3-inch shell being loaded into its breech. Girls start to scream and make for the exits. Dopers are looking around, blinking, smiling, saying yes in a number of ways. Raoul tries to mount his horse and make his escape, but misses the saddle and slides all the way over, falling into a tub of black-market Jell-o, raspberry flavor, with whipped cream on top. “Aw, no . . .” Slothrop having about decided to make a flanking run for the tank when YYYBLAAANNNGGG! the cannon lets loose an enormous roar, flame shooting three feet into the room, shock wave driving eardrums in to middle of brain, blowing everybody against the far walls. A drape has caught fire. Slothrop, tripping over partygoers, can’t hear anything, knows his head hurts, keeps running through the smoke at the tank—leaps on, goes to undog the hatch and is nearly knocked off by Tamara popping up to holler at everybody again. After a struggle which shouldn’t be without its erotic moments, for Tamara is a swell enough looking twist with some fine moves, Slothrop manages to get her in a come-along and drag her down off of the tank. But loud noise and all, look—he doesn’t seem to have an erection. Hmm. This is a datum London never got, because nobody was looking. Turns out the projectile, a dud, has only torn holes in several walls, and demolished a large allegorical painting of Virtue and Vice in an unnatural act. Virtue had one of those dim faraway smiles. Vice was scratching his shaggy head, a little bewildered. The burning drape’s been put out with champagne. Raoul is in tears, thankful for his life, wringing Slothrop’s hands and kissing his cheeks, leaving trails of Jell-o wherever he touches. Tamara is escorted away by Raoul’s bodyguards. Slothrop has just disengaged himself and is wiping the Jell-o off of his suit when there is a heavy touch on his shoulder. “You were right. You are the man.” “That’s nothing.” Errol Flynn frisks his mustache. “I saved a dame from an octopus not so long ago, how about that?” “With one difference,” sez Blodgett Waxwing. “This really happened tonight. But that octopus didn’t.
Thomas Pynchon (Gravity's Rainbow)
WALKING WITH ANGELS IN THE COOL OF THE DAY A short time later I felt someone poke me hard in the left arm. I turned to see who it was, but there was no one there. At the time, I dismissed it and returned my attention to my thoughts. After a minute I was poked again, only this time the poke was accompanied with an audible voice! The Holy Spirit said, “I want to go for a walk with you in the cool of the day.” I jumped up totally flabbergasted. I quickly left the room and grabbed my coat, telling everyone that I was going for a walk in the “cool of the day.” It just happened to be minus 12 degrees Fahrenheit (or minus 24 Celsius)! The moment I walked out the door, the presence of the Holy Spirit fell upon me, and I began to weep again. The tears were starting to freeze on my cheeks, but I did not mind. God began to talk to me in an audible voice. I was walking through the streets of Botwood in the presence of the Holy Ghost. I could also sense that many angels were accompanying us. The angels were laughing and singing as we strolled along the snow-covered streets. It was about 8:00 A.M. The Holy Spirit led me along a road which was on the shore of the North Atlantic Ocean. For the first time since leaving the house, I began to notice that it was very cold. However, it was worth it to be in the presence of the Lord. I was directed to a small breezeway that leads out over the Bay of Exploits (this name truly proved to be quite prophetic) to a tiny island called Killick Island. As we were walking across the breezeway, the wind was whipping off the ocean at about 40 knots. Combined with the negative temperature, the wind was turning my skin numb, and my tears had crystallized into ice on my face and mustache. THE CITY OF REFUGE I said, “Holy Spirit, it is really cold out here, and my face is turning numb.” The Lord replied, “Do not fear; when we get onto this island, there will be a city of refuge.” I had no idea what a city of refuge was, but I hoped that it would be warm and safe. (See Numbers 35:25.) The winter’s day had turned even colder and grayer; there was no sun, and the dark gray sky was totally overcast. Snow was falling lightly, and being blown about by a brisk wind. As we walked onto Killick Island, it got even colder and windier. The Holy Spirit whispered to me, “Do not fear; the city of refuge is just up these steps, hidden in those fir trees.” When I ascended a few dozen steps, I saw a small stand of fir trees to the left. Just before I stepped into the middle of them, a shaft of brilliant bright light, a lone sunbeam, cracked the sky to illuminate the city of refuge. When I entered the little circle of fir trees, what the Holy Spirit had called a “city of refuge,” I encountered the manifest glory of God. Angels were everywhere. It was 8:50 A.M. As we entered, I walked through some kind of invisible barrier. Surprisingly, inside the city of refuge, the temperature was very pleasant, even warm. The bright beam of sunlight slashed into the cold, gray atmosphere. As this heavenly light hit the fresh snow, there appeared to be rainbows of colors that seemed to radiate from the trees, tickling my eyes. Suddenly, the Holy Spirit began to ask me questions. The Lord asked me to “describe what you are seeing.” Every color of the rainbow seemed to dance from the tiny snowflakes as they slowly drifted
Kevin Basconi (How to Work with Angels in Your Life: The Reality of Angelic Ministry Today (Angels in the Realms of Heaven, Book 2))
Like leaves in an autumn from hell, I saw the people I loved fall off the tree of life one by one.
Zohreh Ghahremani (Sky of Red Poppies)
In spring, streams gush with frigid waters, and inspired songbirds wake before dawn. Trees come alive with buds that swell and crack open; cherry blossoms, magnolias, and dogwoods seek rays of sunlight that will coax them into full bloom. Green tips poke up from between the crumbling dried leaves of last fall, and the days slowly, slowly grow longer before evening darkness envelopes the subtly bustling earth. Your sleepy senses wake in tandem with spring, and your body craves new sensations.
Amy Masterman (Sacred Sensual Living: 40 Words for Praying with All Your Senses)
Ah! like gold fall the leaves in the wind, long years numberless as the wings of trees! The years have passed like swift draughts of the sweet mead in lofty halls beyond the West, beneath the blue vaults of Varda wherein the stars tremble in the song of her voice, holy and queenly. Who now shall refill the cup for me? For now the Kindler, Varda, the Queen of the Stars, from Mount Everwhite has uplifted her hands like clouds, and all paths are drowned deep in shadow; and out of a grey country darkness lies on the foaming waves between us, and mist covers the jewels of Calacirya for ever. Now lost, lost to those from the East is Valimar! Farewell! Maybe thou shalt find Valimar. Maybe even thou shalt find it. Farewell!
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)
Nature is poetry, dreams, and the coming to oneself. The wind takes us away and toward, changing our direction, closing our eyes against the dust it stirs up from the ground. Where it came from cannot be found. The sun is light and so the moon, looking from the sky on to the earth below. The rain brings water to fill the lakes and streams, and fall upon the children running in the yard, mouths wide open to drink it in. And what of the trees? Hug them, love them, sit beneath their shelter, draw upon their roots, see the leaves and shoots reaching for the sky, and always wonder why.
Susan Brougher
that was still okay because this place, our little cloud forest, even though we missed our papi, it was the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen. We didn’t really know that then, because it was the only place we’d ever seen, except in pictures in books and magazines, but now that I’ve seen other places, I know. I know how beautiful it was. And we loved it anyway even before we knew. Because the trees had these enormous dark green leaves, as big as a bed, and they would sway in the wind. And when it rained you could hear the big, fat raindrops splatting onto those giant leaves, and you could only see the sky in bright blue patches if you were walking a long way off to a friend’s house or to church or something, when you passed through a clearing and all those leaves would back away and open up and the hot sunshine would beat down all yellow and gold and sticky. And there were waterfalls everywhere with big rock pools where you could take a bath and the water was always warm and it smelled like sunlight. And at night there was the sound of the tree frogs and the music of the rushing water from the falls and all the songs of the night birds, and
Jeanine Cummins (American Dirt)
stopped at once, swaying gently with suddenly halted momentum. All the fronds twitched and fell limp, hanging in gentle curtains like willow fronds ought to, and there was a shower of dislodged leaves and twigs. If the tree-sprite got its hand back on the tree, Alice was certain, it would all start back up again. The fall seemed to have stunned it, and she didn’t intend to give it a chance to recover. The swarmers dropped from the branches like a rain of strange-shaped fruit, bouncing and rolling across the uneven ground, then homing in on the ape-like thing. They charged beak-first, burying the points into its skin, slashing and cutting. Alice, recalling the vicious sharpness of those beaks, quailed at the sight, but there seemed to be no flesh or blood in the tree-sprite. Chunks of bark came away with dry cracks and pops. The thing started to move, freeing its hand from the broken branch and swatting feebly at its tormentors. Alice directed the swarmers to pin it to
Django Wexler (The Forbidden Library (The Forbidden Library, #1))
Waves come with messages from the sea; they touch the shore with their sublimity. Leaves fall with messages from the trees; they fall on the ground with their magic. Nature sends us the most beautiful messages. We just need to understand the language of the waves and the leaves.
Avijeet Das
Her body smashed through a blanket of pine boughs until she finally hit a bed of leaves, not with a splat, but a thud. She heard several snaps along the way and felt several excruciating bursts of pain envelop her in a multitude of places. After the fall, she lay there gasping for breath in agony from a plethora of broken bones. Blood welled in her eyes and blinded her. She thought she heard voices faraway. Nothing was like she imagined it would be. The fall hadn't killed her, but it felt like everything was broken. She couldn't feel her right leg and her left arm. She felt her chest with her right hand and found it wet and sticky. She wiped her eyes and saw the gray sky through the web of tree limbs above. Looking down she saw a large bone sticking through her right trouser leg; another protruded from her left wrist. The rest of that arm was a bloody mess. The branches had flayed the skin from her shoulder to her elbow. They had also shredded her tank top, torn away her bra, and left her almost topless, but the blood pooling from a thousand cuts shrouded her nudity.
Billy Wells (Scary Stories: A Collection of Horror - Volume 2 (Chamber of Horror Series))
Dying leaves shivered down from the trees along the street, falling around us like showers of sequins.
Rinsai Rossetti (The Girl with Borrowed Wings)
In these myriad ways, we carved out our lives in Los Angeles. Yet falling asleep was often an act of travel, taking me quickly by the hand so that I am instantly surrounded by verdant foliage, the ocean's emerald roar, the voices of Alice, Mala, our grandmother. Those most familiar and beloved of women. But there are also nightmares. Over and over I dream of a small house, a glittering lagoon, a mango tree, and a young girl. She stands before me and her large bruised eyes do not leave mine. When she unpins the sari fold at her shoulder and pulls it away from her, I see sunset-colored bruises on her delicate clavicles. When she undoes her sari blouse, I see the grenades tucked like extra breasts under her own. It is grotesque. I wake trembling, and her eyes stays with me for hours.
Nayomi Munaweera (Island of a Thousand Mirrors)
Fall" Fall, falling, fallen. That’s the way the season Changes its tense in the long-haired maples That dot the road; the veiny hand-shaped leaves Redden on their branches (in a fiery competition With the final remaining cardinals) and then Begin to sidle and float through the air, at last Settling into colorful layers carpeting the ground. At twilight the light, too, is layered in the trees In a season of odd, dusky congruences—a scarlet tanager And the odor of burning leaves, a golden retriever Loping down the center of a wide street and the sun Setting behind smoke-filled trees in the distance, A gap opening up in the treetops and a bruised cloud Blamelessly filling the space with purples. Everything Changes and moves in the split second between summer’s Sprawling past and winter’s hard revision, one moment Pulling out of the station according to schedule, Another moment arriving on the next platform. It Happens almost like clockwork: the leaves drift away From their branches and gather slowly at our feet, Sliding over our ankles, and the season begins moving Around us even as its colorful weather moves us, Even as it pulls us into its dusty, twilit pockets. And every year there is a brief, startling moment When we pause in the middle of a long walk home and Suddenly feel something invisible and weightless Touching our shoulders, sweeping down from the air: It is the autumn wind pressing against our bodies; It is the changing light of fall falling on us.
Edward Hirsch (Wild Gratitude)
He was used to seeing some part of him die every day. He watched the leaves falling from the Paradise tree. "They all follow the same road. They all go away.
Juan Rulfo
When he had learned in the fall of 1778 that she was critically ill, he rushed from New York back to their home in Culford, a small town about a hundred miles to the northeast of London, arriving shortly before her death at the age of thirty-two. Never happy about her husband’s decision to leave her and their two children in England while he fought the war in America, Jemima had requested that a thorn tree be planted over her grave to signify “the sorrow which [had] destroyed her life.
Nathaniel Philbrick (In the Hurricane's Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown)
You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintry light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person had died for no reason.
rnestHemingway (A Moveable Feast)
(1) Throughout history, war has often been a leading stimulant of technological innovation. For instance, the enormous investments made in nuclear weapons during World War II and in airplanes and trucks during World War I launched whole new fields of technology. But wars can also deal devastating setbacks to technological development. (2) Strong centralized government boosted technology in late-19th-century Germany and Japan, and crushed it in China after A.D. 1500. (3) Many northern Europeans assume that technology thrives in a rigorous climate where survival is impossible without technology, and withers in a benign climate where clothing is unnecessary and bananas supposedly fall off the trees. An opposite view is that benign environments leave people free from the constant struggle for existence, free to devote themselves to innovation. (4) There has also been debate over whether technology is stimulated by abundance or by scarcity of environmental resources. Abundant resources might stimulate the development of inventions utilizing those resources, such as water mill technology in rainy northern Europe, with its many rivers—but why didn’t water mill technology progress more rapidly in even rainier New Guinea? The destruction of Britain’s forests has been suggested as the reason behind its early lead in developing coal technology, but why didn’t deforestation have the same effect in China? This
Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies)
In the fall copious fruit ripens and seeds are scattered until finally all the leaves are shed in preparation for winter. If you rake fallen leaves into a pile and then examine them, you will see that each one shows a consummately clean break at the same place near the base of the stem. The fall of leaves is highly choreographed. First the green pigments are pulled back behind the narrow row of cells marking the border between stem and branch. Then on the mysteriously appointed day this row of cells is dehydrated and becomes weak and brittle. The weight of the leaf is now sufficient to bend and snap it from the branch. It takes a tree only a week to discard its entire year’s work, cast off like a dress, barely worn but too unfashionable for further use. Can you imagine throwing away all of your possessions once a year because you are secure in your expectation that you will be able to replace them in a matter of weeks? These brave trees lay all of their earthly treasures on the soil, their moth and rust doth immediately corrupt. They know better than all the saints and martyrs put together exactly how to store next year’s treasure in heaven where the heart shall be also.
Hope Jahren (Lab Girl)
The Mosaic legend of the Fall of Man has preserved an ancient picture representing the origin and consequences of this disunion. The incidents of the legend form the basis of an essential article of the creed, the doctrine of original sin in man and his consequent need of succour. It may be well at the commencement of logic to examine the story which treats of the origin and the bearings of the very knowledge which logic has to discuss. For, though philosophy must not allow herself to be overawed by religion, or accept the position of existence on sufferance, she cannot afford to neglect these popular conceptions. The tales and allegories of religion, which have enjoyed for thousands of years the veneration of nations, are not to be set aside as antiquated even now. Upon a closer inspection of the story of the Fall we find, as was already said, that it exemplifies the universal bearings of knowledge upon the spiritual life. In its instinctive and natural stage, spiritual life wears the garb of innocence and confiding simplicity; but the very essence of spirit implies the absorption of this immediate condition in something higher. The spiritual is distinguished from the natural, and more especially from the animal, life, in the circumstance that it does not continue a mere stream of tendency, but sunders itself to self-realisation. But this position of severed life has in its turn to be suppressed, and the spirit has by its own act to win its way to concord again. The final concord then is spiritual; that is, the principle of restoration is found in thought, and thought only. The hand that inflicts the wound is also the hand which heals it. We are told in our story that Adam and Eve, the first human beings, the types of humanity, were placed in a garden, where grew a tree of life and a tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God, it is said, had forbidden them to eat of the fruit of this latter tree: of the tree of life for the present nothing further is said. These words evidently assume that man is not intended to seek knowledge, and ought to remain in the state of innocence. Other meditative races, it may be remarked, have held the same belief that the primitive state of mankind was one of innocence and harmony. Now all this is to a certain extent correct. The disunion that appears throughout humanity is not a condition to rest in. But it is a mistake to regard the natural and immediate harmony as the right state. The mind is not mere instinct: on the contrary, it essentially involves the tendency to reasoning and meditation. Childlike innocence no doubt has in it something fascinating and attractive: but only because it reminds us of what the spirit must win for itself. The harmoniousness of childhood is a gift from the hand of nature: the second harmony must spring from the labour and culture of the spirit. And so the words of Christ, ‘Except ye become as little children’, etc., are very far from telling us that we must always remain children. Again, we find in the narrative of Moses that the occasion which led man to leave his natural unity is attributed to solicitation from without. The serpent was the tempter. But the truth is, that the step into opposition, the awakening of consciousness, follows from the very nature of man; and the same history repeats itself in every son of Adam. The serpent represents likeness to God as consisting in the knowledge of good and evil: and it is just this knowledge in which man participates when he breaks with the unity of his instinctive being and eats of the forbidden fruit. The first reflection of awakened consciousness in men told them that they were naked. This is a naive and profound trait. For the sense of shame bears evidence to the separation of man from his natural and sensuous life. The beasts never get so far as this separation, and they feel no shame. And it is in the human feeling of shame that we are to seek the spiritual and moral origin origin of dress.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
I thought about everything he’d told me about his past, and I wished he’d told me more. I thought of what he’d said to me about his dreams for the future, what he wanted in life, and I realized how little of that I knew. He wanted to fix Annie. Beyond that? I had no idea. Was there a future he’d wanted? One he’d imagined? Or had he just concentrated on the present and getting through it? Only he hadn’t gotten through it. He hadn’t fixed Annie. He’d come to Salmon Creek to find me for answers, and I’d gotten him killed. No future. Not for Rafe. Just…gone. I looked down at the leather band on my wrist--his bracelet--and thought, I don’t deserve this. I was ready to pull it off, climb a tree, and leave it there, in his memory. Then I stopped. I didn’t deserve his bracelet, but maybe I still could earn it. Find Annie, if she was still alive. Help her. Finish what he started. I took a deep breath and touched the bracelet’s cat’s-eye stone. I’m going to fix this. I know I can’t--my breath caught--can’t fix it all, but I’ll do what I can. I promise. I squeezed my eyes shut and I sent out the promise again, fingers on the stone. I sensed him close by. Felt him, smelled him-- “I knew I’d find you here,” a voice said behind me. “Sooner or later.” My heart stopped and I knew I was hearing wrong, that it must be Daniel, come to find me, but my mind was still fixed on-- “Rafe,” I whispered. I turned. He was walking out of the forest and he was grinning and…and there was no “and” because that was all I could think. My eyes shut. I didn’t want them to. I didn’t care if it was an illusion, I wanted to see him one more time before the vision disappeared and I was left with that last horrible memory of him falling from the helicopter. “I know I’m looking a little rough,” he said. “But I didn’t think it was that bad.” His voice came closer. “Open your eyes, Maya,” he whispered. “It’s me.
Kelley Armstrong (The Calling (Darkness Rising, #2))
Tree House   This jungle tree house build is both fun and rewarding, especially once you get finished in the evening and can watch the sun set from the patio of your new house suspended a hundred feet in the air. Here’s how to get started.   Once you locate a jungle biome in your world, pick out a few tall trees that are close to each other:         Start by building a platform around one of the trees and adding columns at the corners to support a half-roof:           With the columns in place, begin adding on a roof, using stairs as the roof portions. Note that all of the wood I’m using for this build is jungle wood.             Add fencing between the columns to keep people from falling out, leaving a space on one side for your patio. Create the patio using bottom stone slabs for a lower portion where a fountain/waterfall will go, then using top stone slabs for the eating area.               Once the patio is completed, you can use pressure plates on top of fence posts for tables, stairs for chairs and then use a water bucket to create a nice flow of water through a hole in the patio. Fences around the perimeter keep people safe and a few torches keep things well-lit.   Next, find a nearby tree and construct a second platform:           Make sure the second platform is surrounded by fending as well, then connect both platforms with stairs and wood planks, adding in fencing on the sides for safety:           This new platform will be the sleeping area, and three sets of beds arranged around the tree in the middle look cozy and inviting. Top this platform off with a few torches and you’re set!         Adding some jungle leaves above the platform will protect sleepers below from getting wet when it rains, and will help keep things looking natural and open.         Go back to the main platform and construct an additional, smaller platform above it:         Cut a hole in both platforms and add a tall ladder going from the uppermost platform down to the ground, passing through the main platform on its way. At the bottom, add a landing with torches and stairs leading down to the beach:           Clear the upper platform of leaves and then add on fencing for safety, torches for light and use a staircase and wooden slab to create long chairs that people can sit on to watch the sunsets. A pair of stairs on the sides of the upper platform add additional seating for more guests:             Wow! This tree house looks amazing! You’ve got all of the basic set up, so now it’s up to you to take it to the next level! Add in more personal touches, expand the tree house with more connected platforms or build even higher into the jungle!  
Markus Bergensten (The Mining Construction Handbook: Your Complete Guide to Minecraft Construction)
You see,” continued the minister, bowing thankfully to the duke, “Dictionopolis is the place where all the words in the world come from. They’re grown right here in our orchards.” “I didn’t know that words grew on trees,” said Milo timidly. “Where did you think they grew?” shouted the earl irritably. A small crowd began to gather to see the little boy who didn’t know that letters grew on trees. “I didn’t know they grew at all,” admitted Milo even more timidly. Several people shook their heads sadly. “Well, money doesn’t grow on trees, does it?” demanded the count. “I’ve heard not,” said Milo. “Then something must. Why not words?” exclaimed the undersecretary triumphantly. The crowd cheered his display of logic and continued about its business. “To continue,” continued the minister impatiently. “Once a week by royal proclamation the word market is held here in the great square and people come from everywhere to buy the words they need or trade in the words they haven’t used.” “Our job,” said the count, “is to see that all the words sold are proper ones, for it wouldn’t do to sell someone a word that had no meaning or didn’t exist at all. For instance, if you bought a word like ghlbtsk, where would you use it?” “It would be difficult,” thought Milo—but there were so many words that were difficult, and he knew hardly any of them. “But we never choose which ones to use,” explained the earl as they walked toward the market stalls, “for as long as they mean what they mean to mean we don’t care if they make sense or nonsense.” “Innocence or magnificence,” added the count. “Reticence or common sense,” said the undersecretary. “That seems simple enough,” said Milo, trying to be polite. “Easy as falling off a log,” cried the earl, falling off a log with a loud thump. “Must you be so clumsy?” shouted the duke. “All I said was——” began the earl, rubbing his head. “We heard you,” said the minister angrily, “and you’ll have to find an expression that’s less dangerous.” The earl dusted himself off as the others snickered audibly. “You see,” cautioned the count, “you must pick your words very carefully and be sure to say just what you intend to say. And now we must leave to make preparations for the Royal Banquet.” “You’ll be there, of course,” said the minister. But before Milo had a chance to say anything, they were rushing off across the square as fast as they had come. “Enjoy yourself in the market,” shouted back the undersecretary. “Market,” recited the duke: “an open space or covered building in which——” And that was the last Milo heard as they disappeared into the crowd. “I never knew words could be so confusing,” Milo said to Tock as he bent down to scratch the dog’s ear. “Only when you use a lot to say a little,” answered Tock. Milo thought this was quite the wisest thing he’d heard all day. “Come,” he shouted, “let’s see the market. It looks very exciting.
Norton Juster (The Phantom Tollbooth)
the one of insane geometries, of orange lightning, of fire that rained from trees like leaves falling, of the birds rising from the water their impossibly pure white wings spreading across the burning sky. As
Douglas Clegg (The Halloween Man)
Though the leaves fall from the trees like brown tears, for him everything must be as green as fresh grass, as white as May blossom, as if to convince us all that the seasons are upside down and we are all Tudors now. A
Philippa Gregory (The White Princess (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #5; Cousins War #5))
I set out for my first overnight training hike that I have been on since I was on the PCT in May, 2016. Starting at the Roby Lake, Missouri area, I made my way down an unfamiliar trail, with an intentionally overloaded pack. Two tents, two sleeping bags, and just about every piece of gear and trail clothing I own. I didn’t bother to weigh the pack, but it was the heaviest I have ever carried. Some distance into the trail I found a trail register – I stopped to register and was curious to see if I might come across any kindred souls. Nope, not a soul on the trail register for the past 12 days, I would very likely be totally alone. The trail meandered uphill and down, by ponds, and eventually to a nice creek with a small waterfall. Along the way I came to a pine grove atop a ridge and what a mess that was – we recently had freezing rain here in Missouri and it looks like it took out several dozen along the trail – they literally look like they just exploded – with the trail being impassable for about ¼ mile – resulting in some bushwhacking and hopefully me not getting lost. Unlike the PCT where I have Halfmile, Guthooks, and other apps that can tell you that you are 400’ west of the trail, and which direction you need to go to get back on trail, here you just need to pay more attention. When finally done tramping around the blow downs I continued down the trail, and back up on top of another ridge and into some pines. I set up camp about 4:30 PM which would usually be early, but it was dark, cloudy and wet – I wanted to find a decent campsite and took the 2nd one that I thought looked nice. As I set up camp I found I was just above a nice running creek, which made for a nice setting. There was no rain in the forecast but heavy fog came in, which collected on the trees and might as well have been rain. Of course I packed everything, except my rain fly it turned out. Yes I had another tent, but that is my PCT tent and I am not going to chance damaging it before I even get there. I decide it’s not too bad, occasional drips would splatter through the netting but all would be well – and I did have my bivy sack so I put my sleeping bag in there, inside the tent, and made sure most things were covered. There were signs of bear throughout, and I could not locate my paracord rope for hanging my food, so I put the food in my pack, put the pack a ways up a tree, and strapped it on to hope for the best. I had a time getting a campfire going, with everything being wet, but eventually enjoyed a nice campfire until bed time. Unlike being on the PCT where you never really feel alone because there are so many other hikers out there, I knew I was truly alone out here, there were no other footprints in the mud – see the pictures of the trail/river – and this was a bit unusual, really feeling alone and way out there. I enjoyed that. It was one of those nights when every noise piques your curiosity, and every drop falling from the trees landing in leaves sounds like a footstep of some kind – I did hear some animal grunt, possibly a ferel hog, bear, or deer even – couldn’t really tell. Nothing bothered my pack, and all was well in the morning – but much of my gear was wet. I set off back down to the trail head, surprised at how little muscle or back pain I was in considering the workout provided by the trail and the heavy weight I was carrying. I would feel it a bit later however, but that’s a good thing, that’s why I am training – trying to get some sense of trail legs before I hit the PCT exactly 60 days from now! I received my permission to enter Canada, I have my plane tickets, and in 3 more days I will apply for and get my PCT permit for March 21, 2017 – time is flying by… Morgan
Morgan Clements - Publisher GlobalIncidentMap.com
The rain made the stonework glisten, falling heavier by the moment. There’s a word. Glisten. Silver chains on holy trees, the gloss on lips for kissing, dew on spiderwebs, sweat on breasts. Glisten, glisten, listen. Say it until the meaning bleeds away. Even without meaning it stays true. The rain made the grey stone glisten. Not quite a sparkle, not quite a gleam, but a glisten to the soaked cobbles, a gurgle from gutters where the dirt ran and leaves twirled in fleeting rapids, bound for dark and hungry throats, swallowed past stone teeth.
Mark Lawrence (King of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #2))
All quiet along the Potomac,” they say, “Except, now and then, a stray picket Is shot as he walks on his beat to and fro, By a rifleman hid in the thicket. ’Tis nothing—a private or two, now and then, Will not count in the news of the battle; Not an officer lost—only one of the men Moaning out, all alone, his death-rattle.” * * * * * * All quiet along the Potomac to-night, Where the soldiers lie peacefully dreaming; Their tents, in the rays of the clear autumn moon Or the light of the watch-fire, are gleaming. A tremulous sigh, as the gentle night-wind Through the forest-leaves softly is creeping; While stars up above, with their glittering eyes, Keep guard—for the army is sleeping. There’s only the sound of the lone sentry’s tread, As he tramps from the rock to the fountain, And thinks of the two in the low trundle-bed Far away in the cot on the mountain. His musket falls slack—his face, dark and grim, Grows gentle with memories tender, As he mutters a prayer for the children asleep— For their mother—may Heaven defend her! The moon seems to shine just as brightly as then, That night, when the love yet unspoken Leaped up to his lips—when low-murmured vows Were pledged to be ever unbroken. Then drawing his sleeve roughly over his eyes, He dashes off tears that are welling, And gathers his gun closer up to its place, As if to keep down the heart-swelling. He passes the fountain, the blasted pine-tree, The footstep is lagging and weary; Yet onward he goes, through the broad belt of light, Toward the shade of the forest so dreary. Hark! was it the night-wind that rustled the leaves? Was it moonlight so suddenly flashing? It looked life a rifle—“Ha! Mary, good-by!” And the life-blood is ebbing and plashing. All quiet along the Potomac to-night, No sound save the rush of the river; While soft falls the dew on the face of the dead— The picket’s off duty forever!
Ethel Lynn Beers
I feel so far away from them, on the top of this hill. It seems as though I belong to another species. They come out of their offices after their day of work, they look at the houses and the squares with satisfaction, they think it is their city, a good, solid, bourgeois city. They aren’t afraid, they feel at home. All they have ever seen is trained water running from taps, light which fills bulbs when you turn on the switch, half-breed, bastard trees held up with crutches. They have proof, a hundred times a day, that everything happens mechanically, that the world obeys fixed, unchangeable laws. In a vacuum all bodies fall at the same rate of speed, the public park is closed at 4 p.m. in winter, at 6 p.m. in summer, lead melts at 335 degrees centigrade, the last streetcar leaves the Hotel de Ville at 11.05 p.m. They are peaceful, a little morose, they think about Tomorrow, that is to say, simply, a new today; cities have only one day at their disposal and every morning it comes back exactly the same. They scarcely doll it up a bit on Sundays. Idiots. It is repugnant to me to think that I am going to see their thick, self-satisfied faces. They make laws, they write popular novels, they get married, they are fools enough to have children. And all this time, great, vague nature has slipped into their city, it has infiltrated everywhere, in their house, in their office, in themselves. It doesn’t move, it stays quietly and they are full of it inside, they breathe it, and they don’t see it, they imagine it to be outside, twenty miles from the city. I see it, I see this nature . . . I know that its obedience is idleness, I know it has no laws: what they take for constancy is only habit and it can change tomorrow. What if something were to happen? What if something suddenly started throbbing? Then they would notice it was there and they’d think their hearts were going to burst. Then what good would their dykes, bulwarks, power houses, furnaces and pile drivers be to them? It can happen any time, perhaps right now: the omens are present.
Jean-Paul Sartre (Nausea)
My eye keeps escaping towards the big blue lacquered door that I've had painted in a trompe-l'oeil on the back wall. I would like to call Mrs. Cohen back and tell her there's no problem for her son's bar mitzvah, everything's ready: I would like to go through that door and disappear into the garden my mind's eye has painted behind it. The grass there is soft and sweet, there are bulrushes bowing along the banks of a river. I put lime trees in it, hornbeams, weeping elms, blossoming cherries and liquidambars. I plant it with ancient roses, daffodils, dahlias with their melancholy heavy heads, and flowerbeds of forget-me-nots. Pimpernels, armed with all the courage peculiar to such tiny entities, follow the twists and turns between the stones of a rockery. Triumphant artichokes raise their astonished arrows towards the sky. Apple trees and lilacs blossom at the same time as hellebores and winter magnolias. My garden knows no seasons. It is both hot and cool. Frost goes hand in hand with a shimmering heat haze. The leaves fall and grow again. row and fall again. Wisteria climbs voraciously over tumbledown walls and ancient porches leading to a boxwood alley with a poignant fragrance. The heady smell of fruit hangs in the air. Huge peaches, chubby-cheeked apricots, jewel-like cherries, redcurrants, raspberries, spanking red tomatoes and bristly cardoons feast on sunlight and water, because between the sunbeams it rains in rainbow-colored droplets. At the very end, beyond a painted wooden fence, is a woodland path strewn with brown leaves, protected from the heat of the skies by a wide parasol of foliage fluttering in the breeze. You can't see the end of it, just keep walking, and breathe.
Agnès Desarthe (Chez Moi)
Love naturally begins in secresy because it begins in shyness; but it must live openly because it lives in joy. It is as when the leaves are changing; that which is to grow cannot conceal itself, and in every instance you see that all which is dry falls from the tree the moment the new leaves begin to sprout.
Charles William Eliot (Delphi Complete Harvard Classics and Shelf of Fiction)
I felt as though I were communing directly with a plant for the first time and that certain ideas I had long thought about and written about—having to do with the subjectivity of other species and the way they act upon us in ways we’re too self-regarding to appreciate—had taken on the flesh of feeling and reality. I looked through the negative spaces formed by the hydrangea leaves to fix my gaze on the swamp maple in the middle of the meadow beyond, and it too was now more alive than I’d ever known a tree to be, infused with some kind of spirit—this one, too, benevolent. The idea that there had ever been a disagreement between matter and spirit seemed risible, and I felt as though whatever it is that usually divides me from the world out there had begun to fall away. Not completely: the battlements of ego had not fallen; this was not what the researchers would deem a “complete” mystical experience, because I retained the sense of an observing I. But the doors and windows of perception had opened wide, and they were admitting more of the world and its myriad nonhuman personalities than ever before.
Michael Pollan (How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence)
At last I came upon the hedge maze. Far from the warm circles of light cast by torch and lamp, the leaves and twigs here were wedged in a silver lacework of starlight and shadow. The entrance was framed by two large trees, their branches still bare of any new growth. In the darkness, they seemed less like garden posts marking the way into the labyrinth than two silent sentinels guarding the doorway to the underworld. Shapes writhed in the shadows beyond the archway of bramble and vine, both inviting and intimidating. Yet I was not frightened. The hedge maze smelled like the forest outside the inn, a deep green scent of growth and decay, where life and death were intermingled. A familiar scent. A welcoming scent. The scent of home. Removing my mask, I crossed the threshold, letting darkness swallow me whole. There were no torches or candles lit upon the paths, and neither moonlight nor starlight penetrated the dense bramble. Yet my footing along these paths was sure, every part of me attuned to the wildness around me. Unlike the maze of Schönbrunn Palace, a meticulously manicured and man-made construction, this labyrinth breathed. Nature creeped in along the edges, reclaiming groomed, orderly, and civilized corridors into a twisting tangle of tunnels and tracks, weeds and wildflowers. Paths grew vague, roots unruly, branches untamed. Somewhere deep in the labyrinth, I could hear the giggles and gasps of illicit encounters in the shrubbery. I was careful of my step, lest I trip over a pair of trysting lovers, but when I came upon no one else, I let myself fall into a meditative state of mind. I wandered the recursive spirals of the hedge maze, turn after turn after turn, feeling a measure of calm for the first time in a long time.
S. Jae-Jones (Shadowsong (Wintersong, #2))
The tang of autumn was in the air and the leaves were falling from the plane trees which line the streets of the towns and villages; the sun shone dazzling bright, and the tops of the mountains glittered like scenes in a fairy-tale. Long after the sun had disappeared the snow-caps were changing from pale pink to lilac and then deep purple. Stop and watch them—for it’s no good being so wrapped up in pictures that you can’t enjoy the realities which the pictures attempt to portray!
Upton Sinclair (Between Two Worlds)
I told her one of the few stories that she'd told me of myself as a child. We'd gone to a park by a lake. I was no older than two. Me, my father, and my mother. There was an enormous tree with branches so long and droopy that my father moved the picnic table from underneath it. He was always afraid of me getting crushed. My mother believed that kids had stronger bones than grownups. "There's more calcium in her forearm than in an entire dairy farm," she liked to say. That day, my mother had made roasted tomato and goat cheese sandwiches with salmon she'd smoked herself, and I ate, she said, double my weight of it. She was complimenting me when she said that. I always wondered if eating so much was my best way of complimenting her. The story went that all through lunch I kept pointing at a gaping hole in the tree, reaching for it, waving at it. My parents thought it was just that: a hole, one that had been filled with fall leaves, stiff and brown, by some kind of ferrety animal. But I wasn't satisfied with that explanation. I wouldn't give up. "What?" my father kept asking me. "What do you see?" I ate my sandwiches, drank my sparkling hibiscus drink, and refused to take my eyes off the hole. "It was as if you were flirting with it," my mother said, "the way you smiled and all." Finally, I squealed, "Butter fire!" Some honey upside-down cake went flying from my mouth. "Butter fire?" they asked me. "Butter fire?" "Butter fire!" I yelled, pointing, reaching, waving. They couldn't understand. There was nothing interesting about the leaves in the tree. They wondered if I'd seen a squirrel. "Chipmunk?" they asked. "Owl?" I shook my head fiercely. No. No. No. "Butter fire!" I screamed so loudly that I sent hundreds of the tightly packed monarchs that my parents had mistaken for leaves exploding in the air in an eruption of lava-colored flames. They went soaring wildly, first in a vibrating clump and then as tiny careening postage stamps, floating through the sky. They were proud of me that day, my parents. My father for my recognition of an animal so delicate and precious, and my mother because I'd used a food word, regardless of what I'd actually meant.
Jessica Soffer (Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots)
You're light, and float up as if you're weightless. You wander from country to country, city to city, woman to woman, but don't think of finding a place that is home. You drift along, engrossed in savoring the taste of the written language, and, like ejaculating, leave behind some traces of your life. You achieve nothing and no longer concern yourself with things in life and afterlife. As your life was plucked back from death, why should you be concerned? You simply live in this instant, like a leaf in the brink of falling from a tree.
Gao Xingjian (One Man's Bible)
Blessed are the man and the woman who have grown beyond their greed and have put an end to their hatred and no longer nourish illusions. But they delight in the way things are and keep their hearts open, day and night. They are like trees planted near flowing rivers, which bear fruit when they are ready. Their leaves will not fall or wither.
Stephen Mitchell (A Book of Psalms: Selected and Adapted from the Hebrew)
The Next Time" Nobody sees it happening, but the architecture of our time Is becoming the architecture of the next time. And the dazzle Of light upon the waters is as nothing beside the changes Wrought therein, just as our waywardness means Nothing against the steady pull of things over the edge. Nobody can stop the flow, but nobody can start it either. Time slips by; our sorrows do not turn into poems, And what is invisible stays that way. Desire has fled, Leaving only a trace of perfume in its wake, And so many people we loved have gone, And no voice comes from outer space, from the folds Of dust and carpets of wind to tell us that this Is the way it was meant to happen, that if only we knew How long the ruins would last we would never complain. II Perfection is out of the question for people like us, So why plug away at the same old self when the landscape Has opened its arms and given us marvelous shrines To flock towards? The great motels to the west are waiting, In somebody’s yard a pristine dog is hoping that we’ll drive by, And on the rubber surface of a lake people bobbing up and down Will wave. The highway comes right to the door, so let’s Take off before the world out there burns up. Life should be more Than the body’s weight working itself from room to room. A turn through the forest will do us good, so will a spin Among the farms. Just think of the chickens strutting, The cows swinging their udders, and flicking their tails at flies. And one can imagine prisms of summer light breaking against The silent, haze-filled sleep of the farmer and his wife. III It could have been another story, the one that was meant Instead of the one that happened. Living like this, Hoping to revise what has been false or rendered unreadable Is not what we wanted. Believing that the intended story Would have been like a day in the west when everything Is tirelessly present—the mountains casting their long shadow Over the valley where the wind sings its circular tune And trees respond with a dry clapping of leaves—was overly Simple no doubt, and short-sighted. For soon the leaves, Having gone black, would fall, and the annulling snow Would pillow the walk, and we, with shovels in hand, would meet, Bow, and scrape the sidewalk clean. What else would there be This late in the day for us but desire to make amends And start again, the sun’s compassion as it disappears.
Mark Strand (Blizzard of One)
extravagances unheard of a year before. Frau Elena buys a new couch upholstered in orange corduroy, and a range with burners in black rings; three new Bibles arrive from the consistory in Berlin; a laundry boiler is delivered to the back door. Werner gets new trousers; Jutta gets her own pair of shoes. Working telephones ring in the houses of neighbors. One afternoon, on the walk home from school, Werner stops outside the drugstore and presses his nose to a tall window: five dozen inch-tall storm troopers march there, each toy man with a brown shirt and tiny red armband, some with flutes, some with drums, a few officers astride glossy black stallions. Above them, suspended from a wire, a tinplate clockwork aquaplane with wooden pontoons and a rotating propeller makes an electric, hypnotizing orbit. Werner studies it through the glass for a long time, trying to understand how it works. Night falls, autumn in 1936, and Werner carries the radio downstairs and sets it on the sideboard, and the other children fidget in anticipation. The receiver hums as it warms. Werner steps back, hands in pockets. From the loudspeaker, a children’s choir sings, We hope only to work, to work and work and work, to go to glorious work for the country. Then a state-sponsored play out of Berlin begins: a story of invaders sneaking into a village at night. All twelve children sit riveted. In the play, the invaders pose as hook-nosed department-store owners, crooked jewelers, dishonorable bankers; they sell glittering trash; they drive established village businessmen out of work. Soon they plot to murder German children in their beds. Eventually a vigilant and humble neighbor catches on. Police are called: big handsome-sounding policemen with splendid voices. They break down the doors. They drag the invaders away. A patriotic march plays. Everyone is happy again. Light Tuesday after Tuesday she fails. She leads her father on six-block detours that leave her angry and frustrated and farther from home than when they started. But in the winter of her eighth year, to Marie-Laure’s surprise, she begins to get it right. She runs her fingers over the model in their kitchen, counting miniature benches, trees, lampposts, doorways. Every day some new detail emerges—each storm drain, park bench, and hydrant in the model has its counterpart in the real world. Marie-Laure brings her father closer to home before making a mistake. Four blocks three blocks two. And one snowy Tuesday in March, when he walks her to yet another new spot, very close to the banks of the Seine, spins her around three times, and says, “Take us home,” she realizes that, for the first time since they began this exercise, dread has not come trundling up from her gut. Instead she squats on her heels on the
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
Tell him to stop, a voice inside her said, but all she could think was that Jeremy had never kissed her like this. He had never made her feel like this--not once in the two years they had been together. No one had ever made her feel like this. And she didn’t want the moment to end. Her brain seemed to shut down just then, leaving her body in control. Desire curled like mist through her veins. She fumbled with the buttons on the front of his denim shirt, tore one of them off in her haste to touch him. She jerked the fabric apart and slid her hands inside, pressed her trembling palms against his bare chest. Thick bands of muscle tightened. Crisp brown chest hair curled around the tips of her fingers, and ridges of muscle rippled down his flat stomach. Call made a sound in his throat and a shudder ran the length of his body. His mouth still clung to hers. He jerked up her sweatshirt, cupped her breasts over her white lace bra, and started to work the catch beneath the tiny bow at the front. “Hey, Call! You over here? Call! Is everything all right?” She whimpered as he whipped his mouth away and softly cursed. With an unsteady hand, he jerked down her sweatshirt and stepped protectively in front of her, leaving her shielded behind his body and the trunk of the tree. “Everything’s fine, Toby.” His voice sounded raspy. She wondered if his friend would notice. “I thought I heard shots,” Toby said, “but I was cooking so I didn’t pay all that much attention. Then I went into the living room and found the front door open. When I saw your rifle gone from the rack, I was afraid something bad might have happened.” “Our neighbor, Ms. Sinclair, came nose to nose with her first black bear.” Call looked her way, gave her a quick once-over, saw that she didn’t look too disheveled, and tugged her out from behind the tree. “Charity Sinclair, meet Toby Jenkins. Toby’s chief-cook-and-bottle-washer over at my place, and all-around handyman. At least he is till he leaves for college in the fall. Toby, this is Ms. Sinclair, our new neighbor.” “Nice to meet you, ma’am. I heard Mose sold the place. I’ve been meaning to come over and say hello.” “Forget the ma’am,” Charity told him. “It makes me feel too old. Charity is enough.” He nodded, smiled. He was young, maybe nineteen or twenty, with thick, dark red hair and a few scattered freckles, sort of a young John Kennedy, an attractive boy with what appeared to be a pleasant disposition. She wondered if he could tell by looking at her what had been going on when he arrived. Then she noticed Call’s shirt was open and missing a button and felt her face heating up again.
Kat Martin (Midnight Sun (Sinclair Sisters Trilogy, #1))
Hey, Call! You over here? Call! Is everything all right?” She whimpered as he whipped his mouth away and softly cursed. With an unsteady hand, he jerked down her sweatshirt and stepped protectively in front of her, leaving her shielded behind his body and the trunk of the tree. “Everything’s fine, Toby.” His voice sounded raspy. She wondered if his friend would notice. “I thought I heard shots,” Toby said, “but I was cooking so I didn’t pay all that much attention. Then I went into the living room and found the front door open. When I saw your rifle gone from the rack, I was afraid something bad might have happened.” “Our neighbor, Ms. Sinclair, came nose to nose with her first black bear.” Call looked her way, gave her a quick once-over, saw that she didn’t look too disheveled, and tugged her out from behind the tree. “Charity Sinclair, meet Toby Jenkins. Toby’s chief-cook-and-bottle-washer over at my place, and all-around handyman. At least he is till he leaves for college in the fall. Toby, this is Ms. Sinclair, our new neighbor.” “Nice to meet you, ma’am. I heard Mose sold the place. I’ve been meaning to come over and say hello.” “Forget the ma’am,” Charity told him. “It makes me feel too old. Charity is enough.” He nodded, smiled. He was young, maybe nineteen or twenty, with thick, dark red hair and a few scattered freckles, sort of a young John Kennedy, an attractive boy with what appeared to be a pleasant disposition. She wondered if he could tell by looking at her what had been going on when he arrived. Then she noticed Call’s shirt was open and missing a button and felt her face heating up again. Call cleared his throat. “I’ll be home in a couple of minutes, Toby.” “Yes, sir. I’ll have your breakfast waiting.” With a wave good-bye, he set off down the path the way he had come. When Charity turned, she saw Call watching her, his face dark, his expression closed up as it usually was. “I didn’t mean for that to happen.” Oh, God. He was obviously sorry it had and it made her even more embarrassed. “Neither did I. I don’t make a habit of…of…I don’t exactly know what happened.” She studied her feet, then stared off toward the creek. “It must have been the fear, you know? They say when your life is threatened you revert to your most basic instincts.” She risked a glance at him, saw that his jaw looked iron-hard. “Yeah, that must be it.” She glanced away, trying not to think of what they’d just done. Trying not to wonder what would have happened if Toby hadn’t arrived when he did. “You’d better go,” she said, making an effort to smile. “Your breakfast is waiting and I’ve got work to do.” As she started to turn, the sun peeked out from behind a cloud, casting shadows beneath his cheekbones and the little indentation on his chin. He didn’t move when she grabbed the plastic bag of garbage and headed for one of the heavy iron trash cans that were supposed to be bear-proof. She saw him walk over and pick up his rifle, his fingers wrapping around the stock with a casual ease that said he was comfortable with the weapon. He didn’t walk away as she expected. Instead, he stood there watching, waiting until she disappeared inside the house.
Kat Martin (Midnight Sun (Sinclair Sisters Trilogy, #1))
5 Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, 6 “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.” 7 “Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?” 8 He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. 9 When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.” 10 Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven. 12 “But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. 13 And so you will bear testimony to me. 14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17 Everyone will hate you because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 Stand firm, and you will win life. 20 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. 22 For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. 23 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. 24 They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. 25 “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26 People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” 29 He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30 When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. 31 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. 34 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” 37 Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, 38 and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple.
gospelluke21
Imagine that the forests disappear from the earth! Then, who will remember the November without the magnificent autumn trees, who will long for it to come?
Mehmet Murat ildan
Desperate Note from Byron’s Palace in Lerici” In the blue wind the leaves begin to think they are birds. This is when you lean your body against its sorrows. The truth is always there with its hidden reefs. Your touch still hovers over the shore. Each wave is a mirror that washes in a past we wanted hidden. Now our voices are roosting in the branches. Everything is echo, or shadow. Your shadow walking on the other side of the street, your shadow sitting in a passing car, your last words casting the shadow that has replaced my own. Where have we been that has brought us here? The past burrows into me like an insect. The tree frogs, after tonight’s rain, fill the woods. They throw their voices so predators can’t find them. The old truths are falling from the branches. The old dreams wash up on the shores of our souls. Sometimes I think the soul is a shadow even gravity can’t touch, and love is what passes in the mirror as we look away.
Richard Jackson (Retrievals)
She finds herself, by some miraculous feat, no longer standing in the old nursery but returned to the clearing in the woods. It is the 'green cathedral', the place she first kissed Jack all those weeks ago. The place where they laid out the stunned sparrowhawk, then watched it spring miraculously back to life. All around, the smooth, grey trunks of ancient beech trees rise up from the walls of the room to tower over her, spreading their branches across the ceiling in a fan of tangled branches and leaves, paint and gold leaf cleverly combined to create the shimmering effect of a leafy canopy at its most dense and opulent. And yet it is not the clearing, not in any real or grounded sense, because instead of leaves, the trees taper up to a canopy of extraordinary feathers shimmering and spreading out like a peacock's tail across the ceiling, a hundred green, gold and sapphire eyes gazing down upon her. Jack's startling embellishments twist an otherwise literal interpretation of their woodland glade into a fantastical, dreamlike version of itself. Their green cathedral, more spectacular and beautiful than she could have ever imagined. She moves closer to one of the trees and stretches out a hand, feeling instead of rough bark the smooth, cool surface of a wall. She can't help but smile. The trompe-l'oeil effect is dazzling and disorienting in equal measure. Even the window shutters and cornicing have been painted to maintain the illusion of the trees, while high above her head the glass dome set into the roof spills light as if it were the sun itself, pouring through the canopy of eyes. The only other light falls from the glass windowpanes above the window seat, still flanked by the old green velvet curtains, which somehow appear to blend seamlessly with the painted scene. The whole effect is eerie and unsettling. Lillian feels unbalanced, no longer sure what is real and what is not. It is like that book she read to Albie once- the one where the boy walks through the wardrobe into another world. That's what it feels like, she realizes: as if she has stepped into another realm, a place both fantastical and otherworldly. It's not just the peacock-feather eyes that are staring at her. Her gaze finds other details: a shy muntjac deer peering out from the undergrowth, a squirrel, sitting high up in a tree holding a green nut between its paws, small birds flitting here and there. The tiniest details have been captured by Jack's brush: a silver spider's web, a creeping ladybird, a puffy white toadstool. The only thing missing is the sound of the leaf canopy rustling and the soft scuttle of insects moving across the forest floor.
Hannah Richell (The Peacock Summer)
Love is Like Sounds" Late snow fell this early morning of spring. At dawn I rose from bed, restless, and looked Out of my window, to wonder if there the snow Fell outside your bedroom, and you watching. I played my game of solitaire. The cards Came out the same the third time through the deck. The game was stuck. I threw the cards together, And watched the snow that could not do but fall. Love is like sounds, whose last reverberations Hang on the leaves of strange trees, on mountains As distant as the curving of the earth, Where snow still hangs in the middle of the air.
Donald Hall (Old and New Poems)
Lower-class people were also watching [the dance] from the shade of craggy rocks, or from beneath the leaves falling from the mountain trees, and though one would hardly have imagined that they had the sensitivity to appreciate the performance, they were able to dimly recognise the sadness of transient beauty and wept accordingly.
Murasaki Shikibu (The Tale of Genji)
light is not a part of the down itself as the hide is part of the horse itself. We take daylight for granted. But moonlight is another matter. It is inconstant. The full moon wanes and returns again. Clouds may obscure it to an extent to which they cannot obscure daylight. Water is necessary to us, but a waterfall is not. Where it is to be found it is something extra, a beautiful ornament. We need daylight and to that extent it is utilitarian, but moonlight we do not need. When it comes, it serves no necessity. It transforms. It falls upon the banks and the grass, separating one long blade from another; turning a drift of brown, frosted leaves from a single heap to innumerable flashing fragments; or glimmering lengthways along wet twigs as though light itself were ductile. Its long beams pour, white and sharp, between the trunks of trees, their clarity fading as they recede into the powdery, misty distance of beech woods at night. In moonlight, two acres of coarse bent grass, undulant and ankle deep, tumbled and rough as a horse’s mane, appear like a bay of waves, all shadowy troughs and hollows. The growth is so thick and matted that even the wind does not move it, but it is the moonlight that seems to confer
Richard Adams (Watership Down)
After staring at the ceiling for more than an hour, I was finally asleep, but I wasn’t in my dream. I was walking and walking beside a small stream, and only stopped as I saw a big rounded tree. What made me stop was that the tree had leaves the size of a palm. Bigger then any size I had seen in my life. I stepped under its shade looking closer at the magical tree and found that my name was carved at its big trunk. I was still surprised and bewildered at my finding when I felt the tree shake and a leaf fell in front of me. I was about to pick it up when more and more leaves started to fall, Leaving the tree with only half of the leaves. I tried my best to stop my tree from shaking when I woke up from my dream. I was breathing heavily. My heart was beating fast. I was soaked. “My life, The leaves are falling one by one from my life.” I said to myself, as I closed my eyes hoping for my life to find spring again.
Ahmad Ardalan
They spent three more long days in the whitened mountain ash trees on the whitened bay. Tatiana baked pies in Nellie’s big kitchen. Alexander read all the papers and magazines from stem to stern and talked post-war politics to Tatiana and Jimmy, and even to indifferent Nellie. In Nellie’s potato fields, Alexander built snowmen for Anthony. After the pies were in the oven, Tatiana came out of the house and saw six snowmen arrayed like soldiers from big to little. She tutted, rolled her eyes and dragged Anthony away to fall down and make angels in the snow instead. They made thirty of them, all in a row, arrayed like soldiers. On the third night of winter, Anthony was in their bed restfully asleep, and they were wide awake. Alexander was rubbing her bare buttocks under her gown. The only window in their room was blizzarded over. She assumed the blue moon was shining beyond. His hands were becoming very insistent. Alexander moved one of the blankets onto the floor, silently; moved her onto the blanket, silently; laid her flat onto her stomach, silently, and made love to her in stealth like they were doughboys on the ground, crawling to the frontline, his belly to her back, keeping her in a straight line, completely covering her tiny frame with his body, clasping her wrists above her head with one hand. As he confined her, he was kissing her shoulders, and the back of her neck, and her jawline, and when she turned her face to him, he kissed her lips, his free hand roaming over her legs and ribs while he moved deep and slow! amazing enough by itself, but even more amazingly he turned her to him to finish, still restraining her arms above her head, and even made a brief noise not just a raw exhale at the feverish end...and then they lay still, under the blankets, and Tatiana started to cry underneath him, and he said shh, shh, come on, but didn’t instantly move off her, like usual. “I’m so afraid,” she whispered. “Of what?” “Of everything. Of you.” He said nothing. She said, “So you want to get the heck out of here?” “Oh, God. I thought you’d never ask.” “Where do you think you’re going?” Jimmy asked when he saw them packing up the next morning. “We’re leaving,” Alexander replied. “Well, you know what they say,” Jim said. “Man proposes and God disposes. The bridge over Deer Isle is iced over. Hasn’t been plowed in weeks and won’t be. Nowhere to go until the snow melts.” “And when do you think that might be?” “April,” Jimmy said, and both he and Nellie laughed. Jimmy hugged her with his one good arm and Nellie, gazing brightly at him, didn’t look as if she cared that he had just the one. Tatiana and Alexander glanced at each other. April! He said to Jim, “You know what, we’ll take our chances.” Tatiana started to speak up, started to say, “Maybe they’re right—” and Alexander fixed her with such a stare that she instantly shut up, ashamed of questioning him in front of other people, and hurried on with the packing. They said goodbye to a regretful Jimmy and Nellie, said goodbye to Stonington and took their Nomad Deluxe across Deer Isle onto the mainland. In this one instant, man disposed. The bridge had been kept clear by the snow crews on Deer Isle. Because if the bridge was iced over, no one could get any produce shipments to the people in Stonington. “What a country,” said Alexander, as he drove out onto the mainland and south.
Paullina Simons (The Summer Garden (The Bronze Horseman, #3))
NEW BEGINNINGS Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing. Isaiah 43:18-19 NKJV Each new day offers countless opportunities to serve God, to seek His will, and to obey His teachings. But each day also offers countless opportunities to stray from God’s commandments and to wander far from His path. Sometimes, we wander aimlessly in a wilderness of our own making, but God has better plans of us. And, whenever we ask Him to renew our strength and guide our steps, He does so. Consider this day a new beginning. Consider it a fresh start, a renewed opportunity to serve your Creator with willing hands and a loving heart. Ask God to renew your sense of purpose as He guides your steps. Today is a glorious opportunity to serve your Father in heaven. Seize that opportunity while you can; tomorrow may indeed be too late. If the leaves had not been let go to fall and wither, if the tree had not consented to be a skeleton for many months, there would be no new life rising, no bud, no flower, no fruit, no seed, no new generation. Elisabeth Elliot No matter how badly we have failed, we can always get up and begin again. Our God is the God of new beginnings. Warren Wiersbe A TIMELY TIP If you’re going into a new phase of life, be sure to make God your partner. If you do, He’ll guide your steps, He’ll help carry your burdens, and He’ll help you focus on the things that really matter.
Freeman (Once A Day Everyday ... For A Woman of Grace)
As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” —Genesis 8:22 (NIV) As I walked to my mom’s house next door, I looked at the silhouettes of birds in the trees with the sun setting behind them. The road was still warm beneath my bare feet, and my leg muscles were tired from hours spent doing yard work and clearing the garden for winter (or “putting it to bed” as my husband calls it). Blackbirds rested on the stark branches, watching me until I was just beneath them, and then they flew away in a rush of energy. Today was warm. The sun bright. Most of our trees have lost their leaves, but our maple by the barn was holding on, wearing its marvelous colors like an ornate cloak. “Sabra, put shoes on!” the neighbor shouted from her doorway. “It’s nearly winter, don’t you know?” This is our joke. Every season she notices my feet and my tendency to be barefoot as long as possible. In March she calls out, “It must be spring! You don’t have shoes on!” And then when the snow falls, she yells, “Oh no, look at those boots! We must be in for a long winter.” With each step, I feel the warm tarry road beneath my feet. In a week or two, I’ll be wearing big thick socks and warm shoes. For now, I take in the beauty of a sunny path and hold it as a gift to help me through the long winter ahead. Dear Lord, may I always be mindful of the beauty in every season You have placed beneath my feet. —Sabra Ciancanelli Digging Deeper: Ps 19:1; Eccl 3:1–4
Guideposts (Daily Guideposts 2014)
Even as I see all of the leaves fall from the trees up above My heart falls in more love with your soul It’s your whisper in my ear that I hear every time that I lose the strength to continuing walking alone without you next to me
Austin V. Songer
Still, he always approahed the job with a faint reluctance, disliking the manner of it more than the result. Chopping down a tree for timber was straight-forward; girdling it seemed somehow mean-spirited, if practical, leaving the tree to die slowly, unable to bring water from its roots above the ring ot bare, exposed wood. It was not so unpleasant in the fall, at least, when the trees were dormant and leafless already; it must be rather like dying in their sleep, he thought. Or hoped.
Diana Gabaldon (The Fiery Cross (Outlander, #5))
When she was a girl, Eleanor had completely believed the tale. That Zephyr brought her back from Africa with him, a pearl that he'd swallowed, that had remained hidden deep within his jaw when he was shot, skinned, sold, and shipped, during the decades his pelt was put on proud display at the big house and through his subsequent repair to reduced circumstances at the Lake House. It was there, one day, when the tiger's head was tilted just so, that the pearl rolled out of his lifeless mouth and became lost in the long weave of the library carpet. It was trodden on, bypassed, and all but forgotten, until one dark night, while the household slept, it was found by fairies on a mission of theft. They took the pearl deep into the woods, where it was laid on a bed of leaves, studied and pondered and tentatively stroked, before being stolen by a bird, who mistook it for an egg. High in the treetops, the pearl began to grow and grow and grow, until the bird became frightened that her own eggs would be crushed and she rolled the argent orb back down the side of the tree, where it landed with a soft thud on a bed of leaf fall. There, in the light of the full moon, surrounded by curious fairy folk, the egg began to hatch and a baby emerged. The fairies gathered nectar to feed her and took turns rocking the babe to sleep, but soon no amount of nectar was enough, and even fairy magic could not keep the child content. A meeting was held and it was decided the woods were no place for a human child and she must be returned to the house, laid on the doorstep in a wrap of woven leaves. As far as Eleanor was concerned, it explained everything: why she felt such an affinity with the woods, why she'd always been able to glimpse the fairies in the meadows where other people saw only grass, why birds had gathered on the ledge outside the nursery window when she was an infant. It also explained the fierce tiger rage that welled up inside her at times, that made her spit and scream and stomp, so that Nanny Bruen hissed and told her she'd come to no good if she didn't learn to control herself. Mr. Llewellyn, on the other hand, said there were worse things in life than a temper, that it only proved one had an opinion. And a pulse, he added, the alternative to which was dire! He said a girl like Eleanor would do well to keep the coals of her impudence warm, for society would seek to cool them soon enough.
Kate Morton (The Lake House)
Graham went to the gym to work out, as he does almost every day. There's a pile of unfolded clothes on the couch beside me and a bag of cheese puffs in my lap. I love it when he goes to the gym, if only because I can be the massive sloth I naturally am in peace. If he were here, he'd be eyeing up my laundry and staring at the edible garbage in my lap and on my fingers, internally freaking out over the possibility of powdery cheese getting on the furniture. One hand in the bag, one hand wrapped around the stem of my wine glass—this is my idea of perfection. 'Girls Chase Boys' by Ingrid Michaelson is presently keeping me company from the stereo system. When my phone rings from where it resides on the back of the couch, I jump and send the bag flying. Orange confetti falls to the floor and I swallow, knowing I am so dead if Graham walks in the door right now. “What?” is my less than friendly greeting. “What'd you do?” How does he know me so well? I guess because he made me. “I just let off a bomb of cheese puffs. Although, technically, I'm blaming it on you since it was your phone call that scared me into dumping the bag over.” “Your mother is knitting again.” Eyes glued to the orange blobs on the pale carpet, I reply, “Oh? I'm sure it's marvelous, whatever it is.” Are they seeping into the carpet as I watch, even now becoming an irremovable part of it? Graham is going to majorly freak out over this. “Looks like a yellow condom.” I choke on nothing. “I have to go, Dad.” He grunts a goodbye. I fling the phone away and dive to my knees, hurriedly scooping up the abused deliciousness into my hands. Of course this is when Graham decides to come home—when my ass is in the air facing the door and I look like I'm eating processed food off the floor. I groan and let my head fall forward, smashing a cheese puff with my forehead. He doesn't say anything for a really, really long time, and I refuse to move or look at him, so it gets sort of awkward. “Never thought I'd come home to this scene. Ever.” Just to rile him up, I shove a cheese puff in my mouth and chomp away. “I can't believe you just ate that!” I get to my feet as I pop another into my mouth. “Mmm.” Graham's face is twisted with horror, his backpack dropping to the floor. Sweat clings to him in a delicious way, his hair damp with it. “Do you know how dirty the carpet is?” “You clean it almost every day. It can't be that dirty.” “I don't get everything out of it!” he exclaims, slapping the remaining puffs from my hands. “Go brush your teeth. No. Wait. Induce vomiting. Immediately.” I look at him and laugh. “You're crazy.” “Just...go drink water or something. I'll clean this up.” “I am perfectly capable of cleaning up my own messes.” He just looks at me. “Okay, so not as well as you, but still.” He remains mute. “Fine.” I toss my hands in the air and carefully walk over the splotches of orange beneath me. As I leave the living room, I pause by a framed photograph of a lemon tree, sliding it off-center on the wall. “I saw that,” he calls after me. “Just giving you something to do!” I smirk as I saunter into the bathroom. “I'll give you something to do.” I cock my head at that, wondering if that was meant to be sexual or not. I'm thinking not. I flip the light switch up in the bathroom and scream. Even with the distance between us, I can hear him laughing. The mirror is covered in what looks like blood, spelling out R – E – D. I put my face close to it and sniff. Ketchup. What a waste of a good condiment. “Not funny!” “So funny!
Lindy Zart (Roomies)
Now, his amorous kiss had stirred in me the unspoken wistfulness I had kept so well hidden within. I willingly opened myself to his affection. As we held each other tightly, I felt his throbbing manhood as if it was our first sensual encounter. His masculinity intoxicated me. When he stared into my eyes, I was at a loss. Just like the time he made love to me with his piercing eyes during my E.R.O.S. initiation ceremony, my knees grew weak. I was frozen in time. I did not know how to respond to this sudden surge of emotional upheaval. I thought I had mastered the art of love, yet I was floored by this man I thought I knew so well.               He led me to a secluded part of the floral pasture, shadowed by several large trees. With utmost urgency, his nimble fingers pulled off my sweatshirt and he lifted up my arms, inhaling the boyish scent from my hairless armpits. He sniffed and lapped at my tenderness. My excitement heaved to his every touch. He tore off his shirt to reveal the muscly splendour of his teenage chest. I wrapped my hands around his brawny neck as he hooked his bulging arms round my slender waist. He unzipped our pants to let them fall around our ankles before yanking them away, leaving our exposed briefs draping haphazardly across our nether regions.
Young (Turpitude (A Harem Boy's Saga Book 4))
Mr. Grattingly, while we might tarry in the conservatory in plain sight of the open door, the location you’ve chosen—ooph!” “The location I’ve chosen is perfect,” Grattingly said as he mashed his body against Louisa’s. He’d shoved her back against a tree, off the path, into the shadows. “Mr. Grattingly! How dare—” Wet lips landed on Louisa’s jaw, and the scent of wine-soured breath filled her head. “Of course, I dare. You all but begged me to drag you in here. With your tits nigh falling from your bodice, how do you expect a man to act?” He thrust his hand into the neckline of Louisa’s gown and closed his fingers around her breast. Louisa was too stunned for a moment to think, then something more powerful than fear came roaring forward. “You slimy, presuming, stinking, drunken, witless varlet!” She shoved against him hard, but he wasn’t budging, and those thick, wet lips were puckering up abominably. Louisa heard her brother Devlin’s voice in her head, instructing her to use her knee, when Grattingly abruptly shifted off her and landed on his bottom in the dirt. “Excuse me.” Sir Joseph stood not two feet away, casually unbuttoning his evening coat. His expression was as composed as his tone of voice, though even when he dropped his coat around Louisa’s shoulders, he kept his gaze on Grattingly. “I do hope I’m not interrupting.” “You’re not.” Louisa clutched his jacket to her shoulders, finding as much comfort in its cedary scent as she did in the body heat it carried. “Mr. Grattingly was just leaving.” “Who the hell are you,” Grattingly spat as he scrambled to his feet, “to come around and disturb a lady at her pleasures?” Somewhere down the path, a door swung closed. Louisa registered the sound distantly, the way she’d notice when rain had started outside though she was in the middle of a good book. Though this was not a good book. Instinctively Louisa knew she was, without warning or volition, in the middle of something not good at all. “I was not at my pleasures, you oaf.” She’d meant to fire the words off with a load of scathing indignation, but to Louisa’s horror, her voice shook. Her knees were turning unreliable on her, as well, so she sank onto the hard bench. “What’s going on here?” Lionel Honiton stood on the path, three or four other people gathered behind him. “Nothing,” Sir Joseph said. “The lady has developed a megrim and will be departing shortly.” “A megrim!” Grattingly was on his feet, though to Louisa it seemed as if he weaved a bit. “That bitch was about to get something a hell of a lot more—” Sir Joseph, like every other guest, was wearing evening gloves. They should not have made such a loud, distinct sound when thwacked across Grattingly’s jowls. Lionel stepped forth. “Let’s not be hasty. Grattingly, apologize. We can all see you’re a trifle foxed. Nobody takes offense at what’s said when a man’s in his cups, right?” “I’m not drunk, you ass. You—” “That’s not an apology.” Sir Joseph pulled on his gloves. “My seconds will be calling on yours. If some one of the assembled multitude would stop gawping long enough to fetch the lady’s sisters to her, I would appreciate it.” He said nothing more, just treated each member of the small crowd to a gimlet stare, until Lionel ushered them away. Nobody had a word for Grattingly, who stomped off in dirty breeches, muttering Louisa knew not what. Sir
Grace Burrowes (Lady Louisa's Christmas Knight (The Duke's Daughters, #3; Windham, #6))
Ok Kevin," he said to himself, "We were born for this! If we are ever going to find Laura then we can't be scared of the dark, can we?" He knew he had to press on, for both their sakes. He felt so awful thinking of her alone and scared, and probably always in danger. He knew the best help he could give her right now was to never give up. He knew he would find her, but he also knew he needed more supplies. He was going to hurry to his base to stock up, and then resume his journey. Taking a deep breath he said aloud, "On the count of three we'll run... ONE...TWO ... GO!!!" Kevin sprang from the tunnel entrance and launched towards the direction of his home. As he zoomed through the valley, he was pretty sure he passed a dozen spiders, some skeletons (arrows whizzed past his head a few times), and definitely a few zombies (he could hear their deep moans all around him). But it didn't matter; he just kept on running, passing through low-hanging tree branches and leaves as he went. He was so intent on reaching his home that he didn't see the drop off just a few blocks ahead of him, and went flying over the edge before his mind even registered what was happening. Falling
Calvin Crowther (Minecraft Comics: Flash and Bones and the Empty Tomb of Hero-brine: The Ultimate Minecraft Comics Adventure Series (Real Comics in Minecraft - Flash and Bones, #1))
Weeping Willow Weeping willow, how your elongated leaves dangle in the mist of the air, you bring such true comfort into the needful eye. How your leaves sway from left to right, providing your own intricate dance so divine. Weeping willow, you provide the most comforting shade upon your layer of leaves making me feel encircled with love and safety. Weeping willow, as I lay under your silvery leaves, I look up for a helping hand, I see strength within your structure, can you help me? Weeping willow, as I climb upon you will you make sure I won't fall, will you catch me if I do? Weeping willow, as I sit upon you looking to the sky through your rustling leaves, will you hear my pain? Can I overcome such things? The weeping willows long leafed branches sway back and forth providing the gentlest of winds across one's face. The eyes close so slowly, a sigh escapes one's mouth. As one sits on the branch they feel if there is someone watching over them, comfort arises as the branches nestle one's sorrows. A tear slowly slides down their cheek as if all emotion was escaping them. The wind starts to slowly blow, once again the elongated leaved branches sway back and forth against the song of the wind, creating one's smile to appear slowly but surely. The long silvery leaves brush against ones cheek, as if it was the hand of comfort, wiping the sadness away. Weeping willow, I will climb down now, I have heard what you have had to say... The one steps down and walks around to the back of the willow tree as it faces such gleaming waters. They look at the carving at the back of the tree, something that has been carved there for years upon the dark bark. Their body slumps to the ground as their back presses against the bark, fingers reaching up to trace the well known loved one. The carved initials of a beloved memory. The one whispers, "Thank you for hearing me, Dad.
Kittie Blessed
On Being Human" Angelic minds, they say, by simple intelligence Behold the Forms of nature. They discern Unerringly the Archtypes, all the verities Which mortals lack or indirectly learn. Transparent in primordial truth, unvarying, Pure Earthness and right Stonehood from their clear, High eminence are seen; unveiled, the seminal Huge Principles appear. The Tree-ness of the tree they know-the meaning of Arboreal life, how from earth's salty lap The solar beam uplifts it; all the holiness Enacted by leaves' fall and rising sap; But never an angel knows the knife-edged severance Of sun from shadow where the trees begin, The blessed cool at every pore caressing us -An angel has no skin. They see the Form of Air; but mortals breathing it Drink the whole summer down into the breast. The lavish pinks, the field new-mown, the ravishing Sea-smells, the wood-fire smoke that whispers Rest. The tremor on the rippled pool of memory That from each smell in widening circles goes, The pleasure and the pang --can angels measure it? An angel has no nose. The nourishing of life, and how it flourishes On death, and why, they utterly know; but not The hill-born, earthy spring, the dark cold bilberries. The ripe peach from the southern wall still hot Full-bellied tankards foamy-topped, the delicate Half-lyric lamb, a new loaf's billowy curves, Nor porridge, nor the tingling taste of oranges. —An angel has no nerves. Far richer they! I know the senses' witchery Guards us like air, from heavens too big to see; Imminent death to man that barb'd sublimity And dazzling edge of beauty unsheathed would be. Yet here, within this tiny, charmed interior, This parlour of the brain, their Maker shares With living men some secrets in a privacy Forever ours, not theirs.
C.S. Lewis
Of course I want you to go! Are you kidding? I’ve been so fucking worried that I would never get to see you again or if we didn’t see one another for a few weeks, that we would lose what we have.” “What do we have, Pete?” she asks, but she’s smiling. “You don’t know?” I ask. She shakes her head. “I’m not always good at reading people, Pete,” she admits, blushing. I tweak her nose and steel myself. “I think I’m falling in love with you, Reagan,” I say. I swallow hard because there’s suddenly a lump on my throat. I don’t know where it came from, and no matter how hard I swallow, it won’t go away. I wait. She has to say something, right? “Good,” she finally says. Good? That’s it? “Thanks for telling me.” She grins and spins to walk in the other direction. I grab her arm and pull her back to me, and my heart swells because she doesn’t punch me and drop-kick me or knee me in the chin when I jerk her to me and back her up against a tree. “That’s all I get?” I ask. My heart is thudding like crazy. Maybe I misread her. Maybe I’m way off base. Maybe I’m an idiot. “What do you want?” she whispers. I palm the side of her face and stare at her. She’s so fucking beautiful that I can barely think when I’m this close to her. “I want you to love me back,” I admit. “Done,” she says. A blush creeps up her cheeks, and I thought she couldn’t look any prettier than she did a minute ago. But I was wrong. “Done?” I parrot. God, now I sound like Link. She heaves a sigh. “Done. Gone. Don’t want to be away from you. Can’t breathe when I think about you leaving. Want to be with you all the time, gone. Done.” She blinks, and then she says, “You’re inside me, Pete. And I want to keep you there.” Fuck. That’s the best fucking thing I’ve ever heard in my life. And I can’t even put two thoughts together to tell her.
Tammy Falkner (Calmly, Carefully, Completely (The Reed Brothers, #3))
As the players left the Miramar Hotel to go home to their respective countries or states, Bobby simply refused to check out. Other players have been known to do the same thing. It’s like an actor remaining in character and refusing to leave his dressing room, or a writer refusing to leave his garret after finishing a book. The challenge is tearing oneself away from a venue that has been one’s creative home for so many hours, days, weeks, or months. Three weeks after everyone else had left, Bobby was still at the Miramar, just steps from the ocean, surrounded by gardens and palm trees, breathing in the pungent smell of eucalyptus. He swam and walked, and then often spent the rest of the day—and a good portion of the night—playing over all the games of the tournament, torturing himself over the mistakes he’d made. Someone finally pointed out to him that the Piatigorskys would no longer continue to pick up his hotel costs, so, reluctantly, he flew back home to Brooklyn.
Frank Brady (Endgame: Bobby Fischer's Remarkable Rise And Fall From America's Brightest Prodigy To The Edge Of Madness)
A raindrop strikes the lawn, sending up a tiny plume of dust. Others follow, a barrage of dusty explosions bursting all around me. The leaves of the banyan tree rebound from their impact. The parrots disappear from sight. In the distance, the clouds seem to reach down to touch the earth. And then a curtain of water falls quietly and shatters across the city with a terrifying roar, drenching me instantly. I hear the hot concrete of the driveway hissing, turning rain back into steam, and I smell the dead grass that lies under the dirt of the lawn. I fill my mouth with water, gritty at first, then pure and clean, and roll into a ball with my face pressed against my knees, sucking on a hailstone, shivering as wet cloth sticks to my body. Heavy drops beat their beat on my back and I rock slowly, my thoughts silenced by the violence of the storm, gasping in the sudden, unexpected cold.
Mohsin Hamid (Moth Smoke)
So I started circling ads for old cars I could afford. I begged my dad to take me out looking at these cars on Saturdays and Sundays. At first I had no luck getting him interested in doing this. It was fall (1961) when he got tired of my haranguing, and one Saturday we set out to look at some of these advertised vehicles. It was a crisp and breezy autumn Saturday with brilliant yellow, orange, and red leaves blowing from the trees in swirls. The first car we looked at was a 1940 Ford Coupe. I thought at the time, and still do, that it was one of the classiest cars in existence. When we pulled up to the house of the owner, we found both garage doors open with the car inside, the hood open, and several greasy teenaged 'mechanics' bent over the engine compartment. The floor of the garage was strewn with various mechanical parts, and the concrete was stained with oil and grease spots. The front end of the car had been lowered, and the back end had been raised. It had a big V-8 engine block which was painted red. The body needed a little work, but a couple of the fenders had gray primer on them and looked like they were ready for paint. The owner was asking $200 for it. It seemed like the perfect car for me, but when I looked at my dad’s face, it appeared he had more than a little skepticism. He started asking the boys picky questions like: 'Does it run?' and 'Do the brakes work?' I had $200 and I was ready to buy, but after hearing the answers to these questions and few more, my dad said, 'I think we need to go home and think about this.
David B. Crawley (A Mile of String: A Boy's Recollection of His Midwest Childhood)