21 May 2012

Some Nice Thoughts on Nature

I was utterly alone with the sun and the earth.  Lying down on the grass,  I spoke in my soul to the earth, the sun, the air, and the distant sea far  beyond sight.  I thought of the earth's firmness--I felt it bear me up:  through  the grassy couch there came an influence as if I could feel the great earth  speaking to me.  I thought of the wandering air--its pureness, which is its beauty;  the air touched me and gave me something of itself.  I spoke to the sea:  though  so far, in my mind I saw it, green at the rim of the earth and blue in deeper ocean;  I desired to have its strength, its mystery and glory.

Then I addressed the sun, desiring the soul equivalent of his light and brilliance, his endurance and unwearied  race.  I turned to the blue heaven over, gazing into its depth, inhaling its exquisite  colour and sweetness.  The rich blue of the unattainable flower of the sky drew my soul towards it, and there it rested, for pure colour is rest of heart.

By all these I prayed; I felt an emotion of the soul beyond all definition; prayer is a puny thing to it, and the word is a rude sign to the feeling, but I know no other.  By the blue heaven, by the rolling sun bursting through untrodden space, a new ocean of ether every day unveiled.  By the fresh and wandering air encompassing the world; by the sea sounding on the shore--the green sea white-flecked at the margin and the deep ocean; by the strong earth under me.

Then, returning, I prayed by the sweet thyme, whose little flowers I touched with my hand ; by the slender grass; by the crumble of dry chalky earth I took up and let fall through my fingers.  Touching the crumble of earth, the blade of grass, the thyme flower, breathing the earth-encircling air, thinking of the sea and the sky, holding out my hand for the sunbeams to touch it, prone on the sward in token of deep reverence, thus I prayed that I might touch the unutterable existence infinitely higher than deity.

Richard Jefferies

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