“Adopt the pace of Nature…”

Pine Needles Ralph Waldo Emerson

Original illustration by Catherine E. White. “Pine Needles with quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson.” 


I’ve been thinking about pine needles rather a lot over the course of several weeks each time I walk the dog. The pace of daily human life sometimes seems at odds with examining things like pine needles closely. Or examining much of anything in more than a superficial way. I have been contemplating what to do about the background to a different pencil drawing of a pine cone. This drawing is a study for that drawing.  

The park by the cove has a fine selection of pine needles and pine cones sprinkled in triangular patterns over the ground. A mix of brown, gold and green, old and new in layers. But it is often harder than I expect to stop to get a really good look at them with a Samoyed pulling at the other end of the leash. The dog always seems to need to get his nose just a little closer to some amazing and tantalizing smell that is just slightly beyond where I want to be standing to look at the pine needles. 

These discarded bits, the pine cones, twigs and pine needles, are also an important aspect of  “the tree.” The tree is not just the trunk and branches. It is a whole system — above ground, below ground and on the ground.  

You are more than just you, too, you know!

It helps to think in terms of whole systems when trying to figure out what you need to thrive.  

The full quote for Ralph Waldo Emerson is:

Leave this military hurry and adopt the pace of Nature. Her secret is patience. Do you know how the naturalist learns all the secrets of the forest, of plants, of birds, of beasts, of reptiles, of fishes, of the rivers and the sea? When he goes into the woods the birds fly before him and he finds none; when he goes to the river-bank, the fish and the reptile swim away and leave him alone. His secret is patience; he sits down, and sits still; he is a statue; he is a log.

When is the last time that you were a log!? Right, I thought so. 

Where do you need to bring patience back into your daily routine so that you are able to let the wildlife find you? 

By the way, I am thinking this might make a nice post card or greeting card. If you like this one too, let me know in the comments, and I’ll look into getting some printed up.  Thanks.  

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