I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness; I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too. I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more. ~~Anne Frank
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous. Aristotle
Zoanthropy. This is an interesting term! It refers to a person who has delusions that they are a form of animal or that they have changed into an animal.
I love animals and animals love me. Except for seals.. refer to my seal attack post.. seals do not like me. As a child I used to pretend to be a horse, or a dog, or a cat. As a teacher I have taught kids to act like various animals while other children had to guess what animal they were. It was the activity that they loved to participate in the most.
People love to put human attributes onto animals and animal attributes onto humans. I usually take it a step further and act out the animals I love to become!! (monkey eating bananas, tiger, cougar, or even a fish).
I’m a cougar here if you didn’t catch that!
“If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.”―James Herriot
“I think I could turn and live with the animals, they are so placid and self contained;
I stand and look at them long and long.
They do not sweat and whine about their condition;
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins;
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God;
Not one is dissatisfied-not one is demented with the mania of owning things;
Not one kneels to another, nor his kind that lived thousands of years ago;
Not one is responsible or industrious over the whole earth.” ― Walt Whitman
“How it is that animals understand things I do not know, but it is certain that they do understand. Perhaps there is a language which is not made of words and everything in the world understands it. Perhaps there is a soul hidden in everything and it can always speak, without even making a sound, to another soul.” ― Frances Hodgson Burnett”Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to.” ― Alfred A. Montapert“We patronize the animals for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they are more finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other Nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.” ― Henry Beston
Nemophilist (n.) – Origin: Greek – Definition: A haunter of the woods; one who loves the forest and its beauty and solitude.
So many forests in so many countries with so many people with so little time. Park forests, mountain forests, island forests, animal forests. I cannot say all of this better than the people I am quoting below.
“And into the forest I go to lose my mind and find my soul.”
– John Muir
“Gold is a luxury. Trees are necessities. Man can live and thrive without gold, but we cannot survive without trees.”
– Paul Bamikole
“I found far more answers in the woods than I ever did in the city.”
– Mary Davis
“In some mysterious way woods have never seemed to me to be static things. In physical terms, I move through them; yet in metaphysical ones, they seem to move through me.”
– John Fowles
“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.
Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.
A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.
A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.
When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.
A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.
So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”
Eudaimonia (noun) Origin: Greek | U·de·‘mOn·E·a The contented happy state you feel when you travel.
“It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.”
When I travel, I am able to stop thinking about myself. I am able to remove myself from the daily grind. All thoughts of work, stress, anxiety, irritations, etc. fly out the window.
I feel happy walking anonymously through cities and the countryside. Watching people, talking to strangers, viewing normal folks doing normal things.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” –Mark Twain
I love imagining what they are thinking and how they got to where they are. I love even more the realization that no matter where I am, I am no different than the people I meet are in regards to the basics of life.
My to-do list for today:
– Count my blessings
– Practice kindness
– Let go of what I can’t control
– Listen to my heart
– Be productive yet calm
– Just breathe
These things make me happy. These things put everything in my world back into perspective and help me balance myself. I let go of my expectations on others, but even more importantly, I let go of the expectations I have put upon myself. Traveling is how I learn to breathe again.
“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” – Anthony Bourdain