Sunday Dinner: In the Shadows

~

“There is strong shadow

where there is much light.”

.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

~

~

“To crave and to have are as like as a thing and its shadow.

For when does a berry break upon the tongue as sweetly

as when one longs to taste it,

and when is the taste refracted

into so many hues and savors of ripeness and earth,

and when do our senses know any thing so utterly

as when we lack it?

And here again is a foreshadowing –

– the world will be made whole.

For to wish for a hand on one’s hair

is all but to feel it.

So whatever we may lose,

very craving gives it back to us again.”

.

Marilynne Robinson

~

~

“One realized all sorts of things.

The value of an illusion, for instance,

and that the shadow

can be more important than the substance.

All sorts of things.”

.

Jean Rhys

~

~

“A garden should make you feel

you’ve entered privileged space –

– a place not just set apart but reverberant –

– and it seems to me that, to achieve this,

the gardener must put some kind of twist

on the existing landscape,

turn its prose into something nearer poetry.”

.

Michael Pollan

~

~

“It was such a pleasure

to sink one’s hands into the warm earth,

to feel at one’s fingertips

the possibilities of the new season.”

.

Kate Morton

~

~

“If you wish to make anything grow,

you must understand it,

and understand it in a very real sense.

‘Green fingers’ are a fact,

and a mystery only to the unpracticed.

But green fingers

are the extensions of a verdant heart.”

.

Russell Page

~

~

“The green thumb is equable

in the face of nature’s uncertainties;

he moves among her mysteries

without feeling the need for control

or explanations or once-and-for-all solutions.

To garden well is to be happy

amid the babble of the objective world,

untroubled by its refusal to be reduced

by our ideas of it,

its indomitable rankness.”

.

Michael Pollan

~

~

“To love a swamp, however,

is to love what is muted and marginal,

what exists in the shadows,

what shoulders its way out of mud

and scurries along the damp edges

of what is most commonly praised.

And sometimes its invisibility is a blessing.

Swamps and bogs are places of transition and wild growth,

breeding grounds,

experimental labs where organisms and ideas

have the luxury of being out of the spotlight,

where the imagination can mutate and mate,

send tendrils into and out of the water.”

.

Barbara Hurd

~

~

Woodland Gnome 2019

~

~

“It is not hard to start a small garden,

all you need is a sapling, a planting pot,

a small bag of soil,

and regular watering.

There you go,

you helped cooling the earth down by one plant.”
.

Noora Ahmed Alsuwaidi

~

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Sunday Dinner: Fragile

~

“if only these treasures

were not so fragile

as they are precious and beautiful.”

.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

~

~

“What they all knew was this:

Life was fragile.”

.

Kaya McLaren

~

~

“The world is changeable,

and its ability to change is so fragile

that a single person

can be responsible for it.”

.

A.J. Darkholme

~

~

“The air was swollen with music,

shouting, and something I could not quite place-

a feeling of happiness,

but happiness with an edge,

a sense of joy

that was all the more meaningful

because it was so fleeting.”

.

Chelsey Philpot

~

~

“Human spirit

is the ability to face the uncertainty of the future

with curiosity and optimism.

It is the belief that problems can be solved,

differences resolved.

It is a type of confidence.

And it is fragile.

It can be blackened by fear, and superstition.”

.

Bernard Beckett

~

~

“I discovered in nature

the non utilitarian delights that I sought in art.

Both were a form of magic,

both were a game of intricate enchantment

and deception.”

.

Vladimir Nabokov

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2019

~

~

“The rest is just wishes and hope,

the most fragile of things.”
.

Sabaa Tahir

 

Sunday Dinner: Small Delights

~
“The great underestimates the small,
the leader underestimates the led,
the beautiful underestimates the ugly,
and you underestimate who?”
.
Alan Maiccon
~
~
“Smallness is subversive,
because smallness can creep into smaller places
and wreak transformation
at the most vulnerable, cellular level.
In a time when largeness is threatening to topple us,
I wish to remember and praise the beauty of smallness,
in order to banish the Goliath of loneliness.”
.
Sarah Ruhl
~
~
“Great man
is the one who is aware
of his smallness in this universe!
Greatness starts first of all
with accepting the reality.”
.
Mehmet Murat ildan
~
~
“All space is relative.
There is no such thing as size.
The telescope and the microscope
have produced a deadly leveling
of great and small, far and near.
The only little thing is sin,
the only great thing is fear!”
.
David H. Keller
~
~
“Express gratitude
for the greatness of small things.”
.
Richie Norton
~
~
“Just because our brains are limited in size,
does not mean our minds need be.”
.
Jeffrey Fry
~
~
“You may think I’m small,
but I have a universe
inside my mind.”
.
Yoko Ono
~
~
Photos by Woodland Gnome 2019
~
~
“To see things in the seed,
that is genius.”
.
Lao-Tzu

~

The Williamsburg Botanical Garden is filled at the moment with butterflies!

~

5th Annual Butterfly Festival

Williamsburg Botanical Garden

August 3 & 4  9-4

Admission Free, Donations accepted

Sunday Dinner: Resilience

~

“A good half of the art of living
is resilience.”
.
Alain de Botton
~
~
“No matter how you define success,
you will need to be resilient,
empowered, authentic,
and limber to get there.”
.
Joanie Connell
~
~
“I will not be another flower,
picked for my beauty and left to die.
I will be wild,
difficult to find,
and impossible to forget.”
.
Erin Van Vuren
~
~
“Never say that you can’t do something,
or that something seems impossible,
or that something can’t be done,
no matter how discouraging
or harrowing it may be;
human beings are limited only
by what we allow ourselves to be limited by:
our own minds.
We are each the masters of our own reality;
when we become self-aware to this:
absolutely anything in the world is possible.

Master yourself,

and become king of the world around you.
Let no odds, chastisement, exile,
doubt, fear, or ANY mental virii
prevent you from accomplishing your dreams.
Never be a victim of life;
be it’s conqueror.”
.
Mike Norton
~
~
“to be successful,
you have to be out there,
you have to hit the ground running”
.
Richard Branson
~
~
“One’s doing well
if age improves even slightly
one’s capacity to hold on to that vital truism:
“This too shall pass.”
.
Alain de Botton
~
~
“In the face of adversity,
we have a choice.
We can be bitter, or we can be better.
Those words are my North Star.”
.
Caryn Sullivan
~
~
Photos by Woodland Gnome 2019
~
~
“Grief and resilience live together.”
.
Michelle Obama
~
~
“On the other side of a storm
is the strength
that comes from having navigated through it.
Raise your sail and begin.”
.
Gregory S. Williams

~

 

Sunday Dinner: Celebrating Summer

~
“It was only a sunny smile,
and little it cost in the giving,
but like morning light it scattered the night
and made the day worth living.”
.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
~
~
“People of our time are losing the power of celebration.
Instead of celebrating we seek to be amused or entertained.
Celebration is an active state,
an act of expressing reverence or appreciation.
To be entertained is a passive state-
-it is to receive pleasure afforded by an amusing act or a spectacle….
Celebration is a confrontation,
giving attention
to the transcendent meaning of one’s actions.
.
Abraham Joshua Heschel
~
~
“And so with the sunshine
and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees,
just as things grow in fast movies,
I had that familiar conviction
that life was beginning over again
with the summer.”
.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
~
~
“To live is to be marked.
To live is to change, to acquire the words of a story,
and that is the only celebration
we mortals really know.”
.
Barbara Kingsolver
~
~
“Take the time to celebrate stillness and silence
and see the joy that the world can bring,
simply.”
.
Tony Curl
~
~
“Shall we walk through the woods;
dance through the meadows;
and celebrate the miracle
of this garden world?”
.
Leland Lewis
~
~
“I almost wish we were butterflies
and liv’d but three summer days –
three such days with you
I could fill with more delight
than fifty common years
could ever contain.”
.
John Keats
~
~
“Summertime. It was a song.
It was a season.
I wondered if that season
would ever live inside of me.”
.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz
~
~
“What life expects of us is that we celebrate.”
.
José Eduardo Agualusa
~
~
Photos by Woodland Gnome 2019 
from The Williamsburg Botanical Garden and the Colonial Parkway

Sunday Dinner: Seeing What There Is to See

~

“Philosophy [nature] is written in that great book
which ever is before our eyes –
– I mean the universe –
– but we cannot understand it
if we do not first learn the language
and grasp the symbols in which it is written.
The book is written in mathematical language,
and the symbols are triangles,
circles and other geometrical figures,
without whose help it is impossible to comprehend
a single word of it;
without which one wanders in vain
through a dark labyrinth.”
.
Galileo Galilei

~

~

“In the various arts,
and above all in that of writing,
the shortest distance between two points,
even if close to each other,
has never been and never will be,
nor is it now, what is known as a straight line,
never, never, to put it strongly
and emphatically in response to any doubts,
to silence them once and for all.”
.
Jose Saramago

~

~

“His way had therefore come full circle,
or rather had taken the form of an ellipse or a spiral,
following as ever no straight unbroken line,
for the rectilinear belongs only to Geometry
and not to Nature and Life.”
.
Hermann Hesse,
~
~
“The brain does not own any direct copies
of stuff in the world.
There is no library of forms and ideas
against which to compare the images of perception.
Information is stored in a plastic way,
allowing fantastic juxtapositions and leaps of imagination.
Some chaos exists out there,
and the brain seems to have more flexibility
than classical physics
in finding the order in it.”
.
James Gleick

~

~

“Give me a place to stand,
a lever long enough and a fulcrum.
and I can move the Earth”
.
Archimedes

~

~

“The pits and tangles are more
than blemishes distorting the classic shapes
of Euclidian geometry.
They are often the keys
to the essence of a thing”
.
James Gleick

~

~

“Maths is at only one remove from magic.”
.
Neel Burton

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2019
~
“That’s the thing about magic;
you’ve got to know it’s still here,
all around us,
or it just stays invisible for you.”
.
Charles de Lint

~

 

Sunday Dinner: Aspirations

~

“Faith is the bird
that feels the light and sings
when the dawn is still dark.”
.
Rabindranath Tagore

~

~

“Dreams are what guide us,
art is what defines us,
math is what makes it all possible,
and love is what lights our way.”
.
Mike Norton

~

The Williamsburg Botanical Garden bathed in morning light.

~

“Rome was not built in one day;
But one day Rome was built.”
.
Kayambila Mpulamasaka

~

~

“We never know what we can be or do
until the need is there
and we are tested by it.”
.
Terry Brooks

~

~

“If you trust in yourself. . .
and believe in your dreams. . .
and follow your star. . .
you’ll still get beaten
by people who spent their time
working hard and learning things
and weren’t so lazy.”
.
Terry Pratchett

~

Monarch butterfly feeding on Asclepias syriaca at the Stonehouse Elementary native plant garden.

~

“The heights charm us,
but the steps do not;
with the mountain in our view
we love to walk the plains.”
.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

~

~

“Clouds come floating into my life,
no longer to carry rain or usher storm,
but to add color to my sunset sky.”
.
Rabindranath Tagore

~

A female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly feeds on Martagon lily at the Stonehouse Elementary School garden.

~

Woodland Gnome 2019

~

~

“Our deep aspiration
is an immense source of energy.”
.
Thich Nhat Hanh

~

~

“Imagination grows by exercise
and contrary to common belief
is more powerful in the mature
than in the young.”
.
Ursula K. Le Guin

~

Our Forest Garden as June draws to its close.

Sunday Dinner: Becoming

~

“For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere

or achieving a certain aim.

I see it instead as forward motion,

a means of evolving,

a way to reach continuously

toward a better self.

The journey doesn’t end.”

.

Michelle Obama

~

~

“She said the music made her wonder,

Does it alter us more to be heard, or to hear?”

.

Madeleine Thien

~

~

“You may live in the world as it is,

but you can still work to create the world

as it should be.”

.

Michelle Obama

~

~

“But in the midst of all that uncertainty

and lack of clarity, there lies a wild beauty.

A hope. Possibility.

The promise of something bigger than us

happening just beneath the surface

that we can’t see.”

.

Mandy Hale

~

~

“Over and over again we
become lost and un-lost
We become and un-become.
This is meant to be.
Without our knowing and
unknowing we would have no
splendid, epic stories to tell.”

.

Susan Bocinec Terry

~

~

“Or maybe they weren’t changing.

Maybe they were just now becoming

what they had always wanted to be.”

.

Eilis O’Neal

~

~

“My fears teach me courage.

My weaknesses coach me to strength.

My scars remind me

not to make the same mistakes.

I can become who I long to be

by loving who I am now.”

.

Toni Sorenson

~

~

“We are all in the process of becoming.”

.

Harmony Dust

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2019

~

~

“Give focus

only to which you want to see expand,

anything else is nonsense.”
.

Nikki Rowe

*

Sunday Dinner: Sustenance

~

“We are touched by magic wands.
For just a fraction of our day life is perfect,
and we are absolutely happy
and in harmony with the earth.
The feeling passes much too quickly.
But the memory –
and the anticipation of other miracles –
sustains us in the battle indefinitely.”
.
John Nichols

~

~

“The most important truths
are those which sustain us
in our daily lives.”
.
Marty Rubin

~

~

“Knowledge is the food of the soul.”
.
Plato

~

~

“The single greatest lesson the garden teaches
is that our relationship to the planet need not be zero-sum,
and that as long as the sun still shines
and people still can plan and plant,
think and do, we can, if we bother to try,
find ways to provide for ourselves
without diminishing the world. ”
.
Michael Pollan

~

~

“Pull up a chair. Take a taste.
Come join us.
Life is so endlessly delicious.”
.
Ruth Reichl

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2019

~

~

“Life itself is the proper binge.”
.
Julia Child
~

Sunday Dinner: The Unknown

~

“Letting there be room for not knowing
is the most important thing of all.
When there’s a big disappointment,
we don’t know if that’s the end of the story.
It may just be the beginning of a great adventure.
Life is like that. We don’t know anything.
We call something bad; we call it good.
But really we just don’t know.”
.
Pema Chödrön

~

~

“In a world of diminishing mystery,
the unknown persists.”
.
Jhumpa Lahiri

~

~

Whenever we proceed from the known
into the unknown
we may hope to understand,
but we may have to learn at the same time
a new meaning of the word ‘understanding.”
.
Werner Karl Heisenberg

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2019

~

~

“How can you know what you’re capable of
if you don’t embrace the unkown?”
.
Esmeralda Santiago

~

~

“With no expectations
anything can become.”
.
Steven Farmer

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