Earth Day Inspiration: Words on Nature From Our Greatest Thinkers

In celebration of Earth Day, here are some of our favorite quotes about the distinctly profound nature of Mother Nature herself.

©. @brettchulada / Twenty20

Treehugger has long echoed the cliche that every day is Earth Day, but we really take it to heart. So to help bang the drum for our favorite planet, here is a selection of some of our favorite quotes on all things Mother Nature.

On Simplicity and Pace

Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience."

Lao Tzu: "Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished."

Isaac Newton: "Nature is pleased with simplicity."

butterfly on hand

@amyjhumphries / Twenty20

On Transformation

William Shakespeare: "One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."

John Muir: "Keep close to Nature's heart ... and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain, or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean."

On Trees

Herman Hesse: "Trees do not preach learning and precepts. They preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life."

Katrina Mayer: “Time spent amongst trees is never wasted time.”

John Muir: "Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world."

Felix Dennis: "Whosoever plants a tree / Winks at immortality,"

On Happiness

Sylvia Plath: "I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery – air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, 'This is what it is to be happy.'"

Ralph Waldo Emerson: "The earth laughs in flowers."

On Wonder

Haruki Murakami: "Not just beautiful, though – the stars are like the trees in the forest, alive and breathing. And they’re watching me."

Aristotle: "In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous."

Carl Sagan: “The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.”


@hunterpagephotography / Twenty20

On Beauty

Ansel Adams: “I believe the world is incomprehensibly beautiful – an endless prospect of magic and wonder.”

Vincent Van Gogh: "If you truly love Nature, you will find beauty everywhere."

On Walking (and Canoeing!)

John Muir: "In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."

Henry David Thoreau: "I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees."

Pierre Trudeau: “What sets a canoeing expedition apart is that it purifies you more rapidly and inescapably than any other travel. Travel a thousand miles by train and you are a brute; pedal five hundred miles on a bicycle and you remain basically a bourgeois; paddle a hundred in a canoe and you are already a child of nature.”

On Loss

Rachel Carson: “The question is whether any civilization can wage relentless war on life without destroying itself, and without losing the right to be called civilized.”

Aldo Leopold: “I am glad I will not be young in a future without wilderness.”

gorilla in trees

@nhewitt2222 / Twenty20

On Resilience

Rachel Carson: "Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts."

Frank Lloyd Wright: "Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you."

On Surrender

Henry David Thoreau: "Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth."

Rembrandt: "Choose only one master – nature."

On Awe and Understanding

Albert Einstein: "Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."

And lastly, the great sage, Alex Trebek: "If you can't be in awe of Mother Nature, there's something wrong with you."