Art for Inspiration: Blue Morpho Butterfly by Martin Johnson Heade

Blue Morpho Butterfly, c1865
by Martin Johnson Heade (1819 – 1904)

The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence that makes no demands for its sustenance and extends generously the products of its life activity; it affords protection to all beings, offering shade even to the axe-man who destroys it.

There is a deep interconnectedness of all life on earth, from the tiniest organisms, to the largest ecosystems, and absolutely between each person.
Bryant McGill, Voice of Reason

The appearance of things changes according to the emotions; and thus we see magic and beauty in them, while the magic and beauty are really in ourselves.
Kahlil Gibran, The Broken Wings

Art for Inspiration: Garden View with a Dog by Tomás Yepes

Garden View with a Dog, c1665
by Tomás Yepes (1595 – 1674)

All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed.
For after all, he was only human. He wasn't a dog.
Charles M. Schulz

Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day.
It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.
John Grogan, Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog

People leave imprints on our lives, shaping who we become in much the same way that a symbol is pressed into the page of a book to tell you who it comes from. Dogs, however, leave paw prints on our lives and our souls, which are as unique as fingerprints in every way.
Ashly Lorenzana

Art for Inspiration: Elegant Ladies at Rest Beside a Pond by Louis Emile Adan

Elegant Ladies at Rest Beside a Pond
by Louis Emile Adan (1839 - 1937)

A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbor — such is my idea of happiness.
Leo Tolstoy, Family Happiness

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.
John Lubbock, The Use Of Life

Friendship arises out of mere Companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden). The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, "What? You too? I thought I was the only one."
... It is when two such persons discover one another, when, whether with immense difficulties and semi-articulate fumblings or with what would seem to us amazing and elliptical speed, they share their vision - it is then that Friendship is born. And instantly they stand together in an immense solitude.
C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Art for Inspiration: Unconscious of Danger by Seymour Joseph Guy

Unconscious of Danger, 1865
by Seymour Joseph Guy (1824 - 1910)

You can't prepare for everything life's going to throw at you. And you can't avoid danger. It's there. The world is a dangerous place, and if you sit around wringing your hands about it, you'll miss out on all the adventure.
Jeannette Walls, Half Broke Horses

There are two types of visions. Those that will happen no matter what, and those that can be stopped. Now more than ever, I wish I could tell them apart.
Emlyn Chand, Farsighted

Things never go wrong at the moment you expect them to. When you're completely relaxed, oblivious to any potential dangers, that's when bad things happen.
C.K. Kelly Martin, I Know It's Over

Art for Inspiration: Butterflies by Sarah Paxton Ball Dodson

Butterflies, 1891
by Sarah Paxton Ball Dodson (1847 - 1906)

I tell of hearts and souls and dances...
Butterflies and second chances;
Desperate ones and dreamers bound,
Seeking life from barren ground,
Who suffer on in earthly fate
The bitter pain of agony hate,
Might but they stop and here forgive
Would break the bonds to breathe and live
And find that God in goodness brings
A chance for change, the hope of wings
To rest in Him, and self to die
And so become a butterfly.
Karen Kingsbury, Oceans Apart

She liked being reminded of butterflies. She remembered being six or seven and crying over the fates of the butterflies in her yard after learning that they lived for only a few days. Her mother had comforted her and told her not to be sad for the butterflies, that just because their lives were short didn't mean they were tragic. Watching them flying in the warm sun among the daisies in their garden, her mother had said to her, see, they have a beautiful life. Alice liked remembering that.
Lisa Genova, Still Alice

Art for Inspiration: Still Life by José Gutiérrez Solana

Untitled, Still Life
by José Gutiérrez Solana (1886 - 1945)

Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.
Pedro Calderon de la Barca

This plant represents what's happening inside of you. The world, like the soil, is cold and dark—layered with a history of destruction and death. You were planted in this world to rise above it. Do you not see? The very existence of this darkness gives you the opportunity to become a light to the world.
Seth Adam Smith, Rip Van Winkle and the Pumpkin Lantern

Every living creature on this planet, has a conscious subjective perspective of the world. Even the plants may seem to us as standing indifferent to the human sufferings, but even they have their own unique mental universe. They have their own way of interacting with the environment.
Abhijit Naskar, What is Mind?

Art for Inspiration: The Magic Swan by Konstantín Vasilyev

The Magic Swan
by Konstantín Vasilyev (1942 – 1976)

The more often we see the things around us - even the beautiful and wonderful things - the more they become invisible to us. That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world: the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds - even those we love. Because we see things so often, we see them less and less.
Joseph B. Wirthlin

It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Her thoughts came to life in the stillness of the wood, nurtured by the air and the scent and the vividness of it.
Meagan Spooner, Hunted

Inspiration from a Vintage Landscape: A Walk Across a Snowy Field on a Chilly Day

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.

The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I've learned that fear limits you and your vision. It serves as blinders to what may be just a few steps down the road for you. The journey is valuable, but believing in your talents, your abilities, and your self-worth can empower you to walk down an even brighter path. Transforming fear into freedom - how great is that?
Soledad O'Brien

Art for Inspiration: Winter Poetry by Théodore Hannon

Winter Poetry, 1885
by Théodore Hannon (1851-1916)

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.
Martha Graham

Everybody is talented because everybody who is human has something to express.
Brenda Ueland

Sometimes people are beautiful.
Not in looks.
Not in what they say.
Just in what they are.
Markus Zusak, I Am the Messenger

Art for Inspiration: Last Flowers by Jules Breton

Last Flowers, 1890
by Jules Breton (1827 – 1906)

Life is made up of a collection of moments that are not ours to keep. The pain we encounter throughout our days spent on this earth comes from the illusion that some moments can be held onto. Clinging to people and experiences that were never ours in the first place is what causes us to miss out on the beauty of the miracle that is the now. All of this is yours, yet none of it is. How could it be? Look around you. Everything is fleeting.

To love and let go, love and let go, love and let's the single most important thing we can learn in this lifetime.
Rachel Brathen

The magic fades too fast
the scent of summer never lasts
the nights turn hollow and vast
but nothing remains...nothing lasts.
Sanober Khan

If today is not your day,
then be happy
for this day shall never return.
And if today is your day,
then be happy now
for this day shall never return.
Kamand Kojouri

Art for Inspiration: Girl in a Field by Ludwig Knaus

Girl in a Field, 1857
by Ludwig Knaus (1829 - 1910)

When we are children we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind.
Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

Little things seem nothing, but they give peace, like those meadow flowers which individually seem odorless but all together perfume the air.
Georges Bernanos

How does the meadow flower its bloom unfold? Because the lovely little flower is free down to its root, and in that freedom bold.
William Wordsworth

Poetry for Kids: The Flock of Doves by Celia Thaxter (Public Domain Children's Poem)

A Victorian children's poem from 1876 entitled "The Flock of Doves" by Celia Thaxter, accompanied by an illustration of three little girls encountering a flock of snow doves lovingly created by their mother, who is peeking from behind a tree to see their reaction. The poem reads:

The world was like a wilderness
Of soft and downy snow;
The trees were plumed with feathery flakes,
And the ground was white below.

Came the little mother out to the gate
To watch for her children three;
Her hood was red as a poppy-flower,
And rosy and young was she.

She took the snow in her cunning hands,
As waiting she stood alone,
And lo! in a moment, beneath her touch,
A fair white dove had grown.

A flock she wrought, and on the fence
Set them in bright array,
With folded wings, or pinions spread,
Ready to fly away.

And then she hid by the pine-tree tall,
For the children's tones rang sweet,
As home from school, through the drifts so light.
They sped with merry feet.

"Oh, Nannie, Nannie! See the fence
Alive with doves so white!"
"Oh, hush! don't frighten them away!"
They whisper with delight.

They crept so soft, they crept so still,
The wondrous sight to see!
The little mother pushed the gate,
And laughed out joyfully.

She clasped them close, she kissed their cheeks,
And lips so sweet and red.
"The birds are only made of snow!
You are my doves," she said.

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