Best 284 quotes in «wilderness quotes» category

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

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

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

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

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    At which point, at long last, there was the actual doing it, quickly followed by the grim realization of what it meant to do it, followed by the decision to quit doing it because doing it was absurd and pointless and ridiculously difficult and far more than I expected doing it would be and I was profoundly unprepared to do it.

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    A visiting scientist tell of Africa’s disappearing wilderness: More than two-thirds of its wildlife had already been eliminated, pushed out of its habitats by large ranches and urban sprawl. In the southern regions, thousands of predators were being trapped, shot, snared, and poisoned to protect domestic stock. In some African nations, conservation policies and practices were virtually nonexistent.

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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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    Awestruck, Flora stared at the dishevelled sisters with their blazing faces and radiant ragged wings, who smelled of no kin but the wild high air.

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    Because we need brutality and raw adventure, because men and women first learned to love in, under, and all around trees, because we need for every pair of feet and legs about ten leagues of naked nature, crates to leap from, mountains to measure by, deserts to finally die in when the heart fails.

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    Before the blacktop came, the twisty old road beckoned only to those who loved the land and, out of that love, cherished it and left it as fair and clean as before they came.

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    Beautiful souls are shaped by ugly experiences.

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    Beyond the wall of the unreal city … there is another world waiting for you. It is the old true world of the deserts, the mountains, the forests, the islands, the shores, the open plains. Go there. Be there. Walk gently and quietly deep within it. And then — May your trails be dim, lonesome, stony, narrow, winding and only slightly uphill. May the wind bring rain for the slickrock potholes fourteen miles on the other side of yonder blue ridge. May God's dog serenade your campfire, may the rattlesnake and the screech owl amuse your reverie, may the Great Sun dazzle your eyes by day and the Great Bear watch over you by night.

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    But it was Aldo’s pen that became his most forceful tool. He started a newsletter for rangers called the Carson Pine Cone. Aldo used it to “scatter seeds of knowledge, encouragement, and enthusiasm.” Most of the Pine Cone’s articles, poems, jokes, editorials, and drawings were Aldo’s own. His readers soon realized that the forest animals were as important to him as the trees. His goal was to bring back the “flavor of the wilds.

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    Charles could feel himself sagging with middle-aged defeat, a loser who lacked the hot-blooded need to wrestle America to the ground and take her milk money, who never had the balls to flip his father’s shame into a triumphant empire, who marched obediently towards death and hid from life and always chose the wrong path. No. Not yet. He was still Charles Fucking Wang and he would lead the way out of the wilderness.

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    Beauty Smith was cruel in the way that cowards are cruel…he revenged himself, in turn, upon creatures weaker than he. All life likes power, and Beauty Smith was no exception. Denied the expression of power amongst his own kind, he fell back upon the lesser creatures and there vindicated the life that was in him.

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    But even the falsest of men pay so much homage to truth as to seem its votaries.

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    But I weren't no quitter No wolf nor bear just gives up when they get beat or hungry. You ever seen a bear jump off a cliff 'cause life handed him a few rough draws? No, you haven't. The wild keeps going till it don't have strength in its muscles and bones. The wild doesn't give up; it's forever, and so was I.

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    Champions are made in the dark before they are revealed in light.

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    Chaos, leave me never, keep me wild and keep me free so that my brokenness will be, the only beauty the world will see.

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    Darkest times, great men evolve.

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    Devoted though we must be to the conservation cause, I do not believe that any of us should give it all of our time or effort or heart. Give what you can, but do not burn yourselves out -- or break your hearts. Let us save at least half of our lives for the enjoyment of this wonderful world which still exists. Leave your dens, abandon your cars and walk out into the great mountains, the deserts, the forests, the seashores. Those treasures still belong to all of us. Enjoy them to the full, stretch your legs, expand your lungs, enliven your hearts -- and we will outlive the greedy swine who want to destroy it all in the name of what they call GROWTH. God bless America -- let's save some of it. Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet!

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    Do not harbour any bitterness, it will lead you straight into the wilderness.

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    Don’t forget that the land is always out there, making its way, doing everything it can so you can breathe fresh air; so you can eat fresh food; so you can move and see and feel and think, and it’s on your side. The world is out there doing what it’s been doing way before you came here, it’s firm and strong and it takes a lot to bring it down. so from time to time, just go outside and look at this spectacle. This pure painting right in front of your eyes. No one created it. No one owns it. It doesn’t want anything. It doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone. It simply is. So maybe, try a little tenderness. Just give it a chance to do what it can do. Just let it help you breathe and eat and move and see and maybe just try to live your life in a way that doesn’t kill this force of nature that is just trying to give you a world worth living in. A clean world. A fresh world. Paths, forests, oceans, animals, oxygen, water. That’s all it takes. Just try a little tenderness towards this world we’ve been lucky enough to build our homes on. If you take care of it, it will take care of you.

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    ...environment scarcely recognises a political frontier.

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    Even when you’re going through your wilderness, still encourage others. Deep inside of you, you'll always find something useful to offer.

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    Every night we stopped in a cabin where wood had been stacked, matches left, and canned goods laid out for the chance traveler. All the unknown host received in return was a scribbled note giving our thanks, any news we could think of, and our names. This whole system of northern hospitality was a gigantic chain, for while we were eating this man’s beans, he was undoubtedly farther up the trail, eating somebody else’s.

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    Every morning in the middle of nowhere, without electricity or anyone to impress, I'd take great care in picking out my outfit and hover in front of a business card-size mirror to apply my lip gloss and check my eyebrows. I also felt I had a strong case for bringing a little black dress on expeditions. Village parties spring up more often than you might expect, and despite never having been a Girl Scout, I like to be prepared.

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    Every sacred soul must walk and keep the way of God in the wilderness for years, to begin the sacred writings.

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    Faeries are known to be tenders of plants and energizing inhabitants of gardens. They are more elusive than Angels and often have lively, mercurial temperaments. They are active in preserving what little wilderness remains on the Earth.

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    God determine the time and duration in the wilderness for every man.

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    Forgiveness is alchemy of the soul in which the feeling of possibility returns to the human spirit.

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    Get drunk by drinking the magical beauty and tranquil tonic of nature; get lost in the wilderness.

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    God wants His people to be a voice in the wilderness

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    He could not breathe freely unless the land spread open in front of him. There were no awkward questions, no uncomfortable demands here, only the sky and the soil and the steady beat of hooves and heart in tandem.