Best 284 quotes in «wilderness quotes» category

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    It always seems to me odd to call a place a wilderness when every wilderness area in the US bristles with rules and regulations as to how you can behave, what you're allowed to do, and is patrolled by armed rangers enforcing the small print. They're parks, of course, not wildernesses at all.

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    It can be frightening to spend 5 weeks alone in a cabin in the wilderness. I was able to collect my thoughts and worked a lot - because I couldn't do anything else.

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    Madam Speaker, I have spent more than half my life as a member of the Resources Committee. In that time I have supported numerous wilderness designations. In fact, I cannot recall ever opposing a wilderness bill.

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    It is like living in a wilderness of mirrors. No fact goes unchallenged.

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    No synonym for God is so perfect as Beauty.

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    Never did we plan the morrow, for we had learned that in the wilderness some new and irresistible distraction is sure to turn up each day before breakfast. Like the river, we were free to wander.

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    No one should be able to enter a wilderness by mechanical means.

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    One generation passeth away and another generation cometh, but the earth abideth forever.

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    Only to the white man was nature a 'wilderness'.

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    Our village life would stagnate if it were not for the unexplored forests and meadows which surround it.

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    Simply put, I believe we should not seek the lowest common denominator when it comes to wilderness and saddle a wilderness designation with exceptions, exclusions, and exemptions.

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    The most domestic cat, which has lain on a rug all her days, appears quite at home in the woods, and, by her sly and stealthy behavior, proves herself more native there than the regular inhabitants.

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    The world is so tremendously spectacular that every visual, sense, and sparked connection swells my unrestrained passion for life. I find I feel this the most when I am immersed in nature and sliding into the bloodstream of the wilderness.

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    Type 1 Error: When we settle into wilderness, we are in conflict with so many life forms that we have to destroy them to exist. Keep out of the bush. It is already in good order.

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    Our remnants of wilderness will yield bigger values to the nation's character and health than they will to its pocketbook, and to destroy them will be to admit that the latter are the only values that interest us.

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    Solitude is an essential quality of wilderness.

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    There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature.

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    The supreme reality of our time is the vulnerability of our planet.

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    The wilderness provides an environment for a child's inner life to develop because it requires him to be constantly aware of his surroundings.

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    To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace.

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    Without friends the world is but a wilderness.

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    We need the possibility of escape as surely as we need hope.

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    Wilderness without wildlife is just scenery.

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    Without wilderness, the world's a cage.

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    What a glorious time they must have in that wilderness, far from mankind and election day!

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    What a country chooses to save is what a country chooses to say about itself.

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    When capitalists are thwarted, deflected, or dispossessed, the generals and politicians,... and socialist intellectuals, are always amazed at how quickly the great physical means of production - the contested tokens of wealth and resources of nature - dissolve into so much scrap, ruined concrete, snarled wire, and wilderness.

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    Wilderness areas are first of all a series of sanctuaries for the primitive arts of wilderness travel, especially canoeing and packing.

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    Without wilderness, we will eventually lose the capacity to understand America. Our drive, our ruggedness, our unquenchable optimism and zeal and elan go back to the challenges of the untrammeled wilderness.

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    Ability to see the cultural value of wilderness boils down, in the last analysis, to a question of intellectual humility. The shallow-minded modern who has lost his rootage in the land assumes that he has already discovered what is important; it is such who prate of empires, political or economic, that will last a thousand years. It is only the scholar who appreciates that all history consists of successive excursions from a single starting-point, to which man returns again and again to organize yet another search for a durable scale of values. It is only the scholar who understands why the raw wilderness gives definition and meaning to the human enterprise.

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    A body 'as to move gentle an' speak low when wild things is about.

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    A drove of mules the size of ants appeared in silhouette on a ridgetop path, moving at a star's pace. The mules were driven by human intelligence and commercial interests, expertise in breeding and bloodlines. Everything was human; the farthest wilderness was steeped with sociability.

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    Acceptance does not mean surrender. It does not mean resignation. Acceptance means I am finally available to the entire spectrum of creative responses.

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    A clarion call to the 7000 remnants who are yet to bow their knees to Baal, to arise and come out of the wilderness to take charge of the guard that would lead their Nations and church to the promise land

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    A flower's structure leads a bee toward having pollen adhere to its body . . . we don't know of any such reason why beautiful places attract humans.

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    And I realize my own culpability here--I don't want to spend the time and energy figuring how to solve my own rodent problems, so instead I nuke them. The irony is that, ostensibly, I have to come to this remote homestead to learn about Nature, with a capital N. To meditate on wilderness, on wildness. Only instead of apprenticing myself to the most basic concerns of such a life. . . I'm cheating myself of any real learning by opting for short-term solutions to long-term problems. It's a poisoning of the mind and the imagination, and what hemorrhages is a sense of responsibility to anything beyond my own comfort. But I do it, time and again. When the bait is gone, I put out another.

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    A loon called from across the lake in the hushed stillness of the rising moon.

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    Among wilderness survival tips, punching a wild animal in the face probably isn’t on a checklist.

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    And so there grew great tracts of wilderness, Wherin the beast was ever more and more, But man was less and less, till Arthur came.

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    Alone in the silence, I understand for a moment the dread which many feel in the presence of primeval desert, the unconscious fear which compels them to tame, alter or destroy what they cannot understand, to reduce the wild and prehuman to human dimensions. Anything rather than confront directly the antehuman, that other world which frightens not through danger or hostility but in something far worse - its implacable indifference.

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    And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul

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    And it was in that moment of distress and confusion that the whip of terror laid its most nicely calculated lash about his heart. It dropped with deadly effect upon the sorest spot of all, completely unnerving him. He had been secretly dreading all the time that it would come - and come it did. Far overhead, muted by great height and distance, strangely thinned and wailing, he heard the crying voice of Defago, the guide. The sound dropped upon him out of that still, wintry sky with an effect of dismay and terror unsurpassed. The rifle fell to his feet. He stood motionless an instant, listening as it were with his whole body, then staggered back against the nearest tree for support, disorganized hopelessly in mind and spirit. To him, in that moment, it seemed the most shattering and dislocating experience he had ever known, so that his heart emptied itself of all feeling whatsoever as by a sudden draught. 'Oh! oh! This fiery height! Oh, my feet of fire! My burning feet of fire...' ran in far, beseeching accents of indescribable appeal this voice of anguish down the sky. Once it called - then silence through all the listening wilderness of trees. And Simpson, scarcely knowing what he did, presently found himself running wildly to and fro, searching, calling, tripping over roots and boulders, and flinging himself in a frenzy of undirected pursuit after the Caller. Behind the screen of memory and emotion with which experience veils events, he plunged, distracted and half-deranged, picking up false lights like a ship at sea, terror in his eyes and heart and soul. For the Panic of the Wilderness had called to him in that far voice - the Power of untamed Distance - the Enticement of the Desolation that destroys. He knew in that moment all the pains of someone hopelessly and irretrievably lost, suffering the lust and travail of a soul in the final Loneliness. A vision of Defago, eternally hunted, driven and pursued across the skyey vastness of those ancient forests fled like a flame across the dark ruin of his thoughts... It seemed ages before he could find anything in the chaos of his disorganized sensations to which he could anchor himself steady for a moment, and think... The cry was not repeated; his own hoarse calling brought no response; the inscrutable forces of the Wild had summoned their victim beyond recall - and held him fast. ("The Wendigo")

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    ...and she would wonder if one can truly stop the inevitable. Was it as Ada had suggested, that we can choose our own endings, joy over sorrow? Or does the cruel world just give and take, give and take, while we flounder through the wilderness?

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    And we were taught to play golf. Golf epitomizes the tame world. On a golf course nature is neutered. The grass is clean, a lawn laundry that wipes away the mud, the insect, the bramble, nettle and thistle, an Eezy-wipe lawn where nothing of life, dirty and glorious, remains. Golf turns outdoors into indoors, a prefab mat of stultified grass, processed, pesticided, herbicided, the pseudo-green of formica sterility. Here, the grass is not singing. The wind cannot blow through it. Dumb expression, greenery made stupid, it hums a bland monotone in the key of the mono-minded. No word is emptier than a golf tee. No roots, it has no known etymology, it is verbal nail polish. Worldwide, golf is an arch act of enclosure, a commons fenced and subdued for the wealthy, trampling serf and seedling. The enemy of wildness, it is a demonstration of the absolute dominion of man over wild nature.

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    At any time, and under any circumstances of human interest, is it not strange to see how little real hold the objects of the natural world amid which we live can gain on our hearts and minds? We go to Nature for comfort in trouble, and sympathy in joy, only in books. Admiration of those beauties of the inanimate world, which modern poetry so largely and so eloquently describes, is not, even in the best of us, one of the original instincts of our nature.

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    A thousand times, people may have touched each other, but never ever sensed a single vein of oneness or complicity in the wilderness of their inner world, since obdurate mental impediments have been barricading the road to understanding and propinquity. (“A thousand times”)

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    At one time areas along the roadways [in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park] were carefully cut and trimmed, creating a lawnlike appearance. When a new superintendent was appointed, he ordered this practice stopped, which engendered a good deal of complain from visitors. The roadsides had been so attractive, they said, so neat, and now they had a rough and ungainly appearance. On this small but significant point the superintendent was adamant, however, and for exactly the right reason. Visitors to the park were reacting to a conventional, familiar, and deeply ingrained image of beauty - the trimmed and landscaped lawn. The goal should not be to stimulate that familiar response, but to confront the visitor with the less familiar setting of an unmanaged landscape. The mild shock of a scene to which there is no patterned response, and the engendering of an untutored personal response, is precisely what national park management should seek, even in such seemingly small details.

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    At most, a hundred paces separated him from them. The powerful beast, seeing the riders and horses, rose on his fore paws and began to gaze at them. The sun, which now stood low, illuminated his huge head and shaggy breasts, and in that ruddy luster he was like one of those sphinxes which ornament the entrances to ancient Egyptian temples.

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    Anthropocentric as [the gardener] may be, he recognizes that he is dependent for his health and survival on many other forms of life, so he is careful to take their interests into account in whatever he does. He is in fact a wilderness advocate of a certain kind. It is when he respects and nurtures the wilderness of his soil and his plants that his garden seems to flourish most. Wildness, he has found, resides not only out there, but right here: in his soil, in his plants, even in himself... But wildness is more a quality than a place, and though humans can't manufacture it, they can nourish and husband it... The gardener cultivates wildness, but he does so carefully and respectfully, in full recognition of its mystery.

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    At times, the impact of the natural world was "so far beyond my powers to convey that it almost made me despair.