Light, Sun, Fire, Sunshine, Heat
Vision, Shadows, Shade, Flames

Compiled by
Michael P. Garofalo

Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Center, Red Bluff, California

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"For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life - the light and the air which vary continually.  For me, it is only the surrounding
atmosphere which gives subjects their true value."
-  Claude Monet 



"Mesopotamia, in "the cradle of civilization", offers us the ancient Epic of Galgamesh, probably first composed around 2000 BC.  In this ancient Sumerian story, Gilgamesh, king of Uruk, sets out on a quest for immortality to the Garden of the Sun, the land of everlasting life.  To reach it, Gilgamesh must pass through the Sun's gate in the mountain of the horizon.  The setting Sun disappears there and emerges from it at sunrise.  A pair of terrifying scorpion-people are stationed at the gate of heaven guard the Sun's path.  But, eventually, Gilgamesh gains entrance to the next level."
Gilgamesh and the Sun 



"To the best of our knowledge, our Sun is the only star proven to grow vegetables."
-  Philip Scherrer



"We are the stars which sing,
We sing with our light;
We are the birds of fire,
We fly over the sky.
Our light is a voice:
We make a road
For the spirit to pass over."
-  Algonquin Song of the Stars 



"The light of memory, or rather the light that memory lends to things, is the palest light of all.... I am not quite sure whether I am dreaming or remembering, whether I have lived my life or dreamed it. Just as dreams do, memory makes me profoundly aware of the unreality, the evanescence of the world, a fleeting image in the moving water."
-  Eugene Ionesco



"Thanks to the morning light,
Thanks to the foaming sea,
To the uplands of New Hampshire,
To the green-haired forest free."
-  Ralph Waldo Emerson



    "The Kena Upanishad says that the Self "shines through the mind and senses," which is a poetic way of saying that it is the power of the Self which allows the mind and senses to function.  So the eternally conscious Self is what makes us conscious.  Essentially, it is light. 
    At times when our inner vision becomes pure enough to let us see through the layers of psychic debris that thickens our consciousness and make it opaque, we realize that everything is actually made of light.  We understand that we are light, that the world is light, and that light is the essence of everything.  This is why so many people's experience of touching the Self are experiences of light - visions, inner luminosity, or profound and crystalline clarity." 
-  Sally Kempton, Meditation for the Love of It, p. 40 



"Visible light (commonly referred to simply as light) is electromagnetic radiation (EMR) that is visible to the human eye, and is responsible for the sense of sight. Visible light has a wavelength in the range of about 380 nanometres to about 740 nm – between the invisible infrared, with longer wavelengths and the invisible ultraviolet, with shorter wavelengths.  Primary properties of visible light are intensity, propagation direction, frequency or wavelength spectrum, and polarisation, while its speed in a vacuum, 299,792,458 meters per second (about 300,000 kilometers per second, 186,282 miles per second), is one of the fundamental constants of nature. Visible light, as with all types of electromagnetic radiation is experimentally found to move at exactly this same speed in vacuum.  In common with all types of EMR, visible light is emitted and absorbed in tiny "packets" called photons, and exhibits properties of both waves and particles. This property is referred to as the wave–particle duality. The study of light, known as optics, is an important research area in modern physics.  In physics, the term light sometimes refers to electromagnetic radiation of any wavelength, whether visible or not.  See the electromagnetic radiation article for the general term.  There are many sources of light. The most common light sources are thermal: a body at a given temperature emits a characteristic spectrum of black-body radiation. A simple thermal source is sunlight, the radiation emitted by the chromosphere of the Sun at around 6,000 Kelvin peaks in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum when plotted in wavelength units and roughly 44% of sunlight energy that reaches the ground is visible. Another example is incandescent light bulbs, which emit only around 10% of their energy as visible light and the remainder as infrared. A common thermal light source in history is the glowing solid particles in flames, but these also emit most of their radiation in the infrared, and only a fraction in the visible spectrum. . Instead, modern physics sees light as something that can be described sometimes with mathematics appropriate to one type of macroscopic metaphor (particles), and sometimes another macroscopic metaphor (water waves), but is actually something that cannot be fully imagined."
Light - Wikipedia



"Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow."
-  Helen Keller 



"Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you."
-  Maori proverb  





"The earth has received the embrace of the sun and we shall see the results of that love."
-  Hunkesni (Sitting Bull) 



"The Universe is populated by innumerable suns, innumerable earths, and perhaps, innumerable forms of life.  That thought expresses the essence of the Copernican revolution.  No revelation more striking has ever come from the scientific mind."
-  Robert Jastrow  



"When the sun hat fits, it's ugly.
The sun does not shine equally on all yards.     
Plants favor sunshine, we thrive in the shade.
Leaves are sunlight, bound by water, shaped by invisible rules. 
Ripening grapes in the summer sun - reason enough to plod ahead.
Sunshine is Life for gardeners.
Death is light's out forever.
All seeing is seeing something."
-  Michael P. Garofalo, Pulling Onions 



"Vision, I say, is related to light itself. But of this sensation and the things pertaining to it, I pretend to understand but little; and since even a long time would not suffice to explain that trifle, or even to hint at an explanation, I pass over this in silence." 
-  Galileo Galilei



"How do we see physically?  No differently that we do in our consciousness - by means of the productive power of imagination.  Consciousness is the eye and ear, the sense for inner and outer meaning."
-  Novalis



"I believe in the cosmos.  All of us are linked to the cosmos.  Look at the sun: If there is no sun, then we cannot exist.  So nature is my god.  To me, nature is sacred;  trees are my temples and forests are my cathedrals."
Mikhail Gorbachev, 1990 



"The finest thing we can experience is the mysterious.  It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science.  He who does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle."
-  Albert Einstein



"There's a certain Slant of light, 
Winter Afternoons-- 
That oppresses, like the Heft 
Of Cathedral Tunes-- 
Heavenly Hurt, it gives us-- 
We can find no scar, 
But internal difference, 
Where the Meanings, are."
-  Emily Dickinson



"Yet mystery and imagination arise from the same source.  This source is called darkness ..  Darkness within darkness, the gateway to all understanding."
-  Lao Tzu



"Light is the symbol of truth."
-  James Russell Lowell



"Beyond a doubt, truth bears the same relation to falsehood as light to darkness."
-  Leonardo da Vinci



"Zeus, the father of the
Olympic Gods, turned
mid-day into night, hiding the light
of the dazzling Sun;
and sore fear came upon men."
-   Archilochus (c680-c640 BCE), Greek poet
    Refers to the total solar eclipse of 6 April 648 BCE. 



"The sun rose on the flawless brimming sea into a sky all brazen - all one brightening for gods immortal and for mortal men on plowlands kind with grain."
-  Homer, The Odyssey



"To gaze is to think."
-  Salvadore Dali



"Work a great deal with evening effects, a lamp, a candle, etc. The tantalizing thing is not always to who the source of light, but the effect of light."
-  Edward Degas



"The purpose of life is the investigation of the Sun, he Moon, and the heavens."
-  Anaxagoras



"Keep on the sunny side
Always on the sunny side
Keep on the sunny side of life;
It will help you every day
It will brighten you on the way
Keep on the sunny side of life."
-  Popular American song




Months and Seasons
Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Verses, Lore, Myths, Holidays
Celebrations, Folklore, Reading, Links, Quotations
Information, Weather, Gardening Chores
Compiled by Mike Garofalo




















"What ideal, immutable Platonic cloud could equal the beauty and perfection of any ordinary everyday cloud floating over, say, Tuba City, Arizona, on a hot day in June?"
-  Edward Abbey 



"As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being."
-   Carl Jung



"The eastern light our spires touch at morning,
The light that slants upon our western doors at evening,
The twilight over stagnant pools at batflight,
Moon light and star light, owl and moth light,
Glow-worm glowlight on a grassblade.
O Light Invisible, we worship Thee!"
-  T.S. Eliot



"We had a sunset of a very fine sort. The vast plain of the sea was marked off in bands of sharply-contrasted colors: great stretches of dark blue, others of purple, others of polished bronze; the billowy mountains showed all sorts of dainty browns and greens, blues and purples and blacks, and the rounded velvety backs of certain of them made one want to stroke them, as one would the sleek back of a cat."
-  Mark Twain  



"We have the eye, which of the five senses is the closest to the brain, or rather is the sensory channel through which the brain itself directly perceives the external world.  Light is indispensable for the proper functioning of the eye. Our visual power (function) to discern objects is more easily frustrated by manipulating light than by directly blocking the direction of our gaze, as is illustrated by the dark changes of scene in a theater. This also means that our discernible world varies with the quantity of light.  Often we feel peaceful when we settle into an indirectly illuminated space or dim corner. As we know, in such a relative darkness, not so deep as to risk our safety, we feel more reassured than scared, and the faintness of light calms and relaxes us."
-  James Turrell



"Art first of all is optical.  That's where the material of our art is: in what our eyes think."
-  Paul Cezanne



"Information is light.  Information in itself, about anything, is light."
-  Tom Stoppard



“You must enshrine in your hearts the spiritual urge towards light and love, Wisdom and Bliss!”
-  Sri Sathya Sai Baba



"Science is spectral analysis. Art is light synthesis."
-  Karl Kraus 



"There was a young lady named Bright 
Whose speed was much faster than light. 
She went out one day 
In a relative way 
And came back the previous night."
-  Arthur Buller



"When I enter most intimately into what I call myself I always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I can never catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe anything but the perception."
-  David Hume 




"Hold your hands out over the earth as over a flame.  To all who love her, who open to her the doors of their veins, she gives of her strength, sustaining them with her own measureless tremor of dark life.  Touch the earth, love the earth, honor the earth, her plains, her valleys, her hills, and her seas; rest your spirit in her solitary places. For the gifts of life are the earth's and they are given to all, and they are the songs of birds at daybreak, Orion and the Bear, and dawn seen over ocean from the beach."
-  Henry Beston 



"At first a small line of inconceivable splendor emerged on the horizon, which, quickly expanding, the sun appeared in all of his glory, unveiling the whole face of nature, vivifying every color of the landscape, and sprinkling the dewy earth with glittering light."
-   Ann Reacliffe 



"We eat light, drink it in through our skins. With a little more exposure to light, you feel part of things physically.  I like feeling the power of light and space physically because then you can order it materially.  Seeing is a very sensuous act--there's a sweet deliciousness to feeling yourself see something."
-  James Turrell 





"The film of evening light made the red earth lucent, so that its dimensions were deepened, so that a stone, a post, a building, had greater depth, and more solidity than in any daytime light; and these objects were curiously more individual- a post was more essentially a post, set off from the earth it stood in and the field of corn it stood out against. All plants were individuals, not the mass of crop; and the ragged willow tree was itself, standing free of all other willow trees. The earth contributed a light to the evening. The front of the gray, paintless house, facing the west, was luminous as the moon is. The gray dusty truck, in the yard before the door, stood out magically in this light, in the overdrawn perspective of a stereopticon."
-  John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath



"Darkness is to space what silence is to sound, i.e., the interval."
-  Marshall McLuhan, Through the Vanishing Point



"My mind withdrew its thoughts from experience, extracting itself from the contradictory throng of sensuous images, that it might find out what that light was wherein it was bathed... And thus, with the flash of one hurried glance, it attained to the vision of That Which Is."
-  Saint Augustine



"Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object."
-  Albert Camus



"In the beginning there was nothing. God said, 'Let there be light!' And there was light. There was still nothing, but you could see it a whole lot better."
-  Ellen DeGeneres



"There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Appareled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream."
-  William Wordsworth  



"Light is not so much something that reveals, as it is itself the revelation."
-  James Turrell



"There is nothing more agreeable in a garden than good shade, and without it, a garden is nothing." 
-  Betty Langley



"A given visual phenomenon may not be perceived at all unless it is actively looked for."
-  Burnham, Hanes, and Bartleson, Color



Seeing, Vision, Looking: Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Facts, Lore



"Supreme Awareness (Chiti, Brahmin, Self, Supreme Auspiciousness) is most often explained using the metaphor of 'light.'  Light, and by comparison 'consciousness,' is illuminating, brilliant, bright, shining, luminous, allows us to see, provides visions, can be enlightened, shows the Way.  Understanding is a function of seeing, looking, and insight.  Light is associated with life, growth, energy, and warmth.  Consciousness can be clear, focused, split up, diffused, shadowy, opaque, and magnified.  Numerous religions have considered the sun to be a divine being, or their gods and goddesses to give off light, energy, warmth, and to light the way for us.  Evil beings keep us in darkness, steal the light away, burn us up or freeze us, or are the Prince of Darkness."
-  Mike Garofalo



"Death is someone you see very clearly with eyes in the center of your heart: eyes that see not by reacting to light, but by reacting to a kind of a chill from within the marrow of your own life."
-  Thomas Merton





"Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher."
-  William Wordsworth



"And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light."
-  Matthew 17:2



"At first, it appears that nothing could be easier than seeing. We just point our eyes where we want to go, and gather in whatever there is to see. Nothing could be less in need of explanation. The world is flooded with light, and everything is available to be seen. We can see people, pictures, landscapes, and whatever else we need to see, and with the help of science we can see galaxies, viruses, and the insides of our own bodies. Seeing does not interfere with the world or take anything from it, and it does not hurt or damage anything. Seeing is detached and efficient and rational. Unlike the stomach or the heart, eyes are our own to command: they obey every desire and thought.  Each one of those ideas is completely wrong. The truth is more difficult: seeing is irrational, inconsistent, and undependable. It is immensely troubled, cousin to blindness and sexuality, and caught up in the threads of the unconscious. Our eyes are not ours to command; they roam where they will and then tell us they have only been where we have sent them. No matter how hard we look, we see very little of what we look at. If we imagine the eyes as navigational devices, we do so in order not to come to terms with what seeing really is. Seeing is like hunting and like dreaming, and even like falling in love. It is entangled in passions--jealousy, violence, possessiveness; and it is soaked in an affect--in pleasure and displeasure, and in pain. Ultimately, seeing alters the thing that is seen and transforms the seer. Seeing is metamorphosis not mechanism."
-  James Elkins, The Object Strares Back 








The Spirit of Gardening Website

Over 3,800 Quotations, Poems, Sayings, Quips, One-Liners, Clichés, Quotes, and Insights
Arranged by Over 250 Topics
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       From January 1, 1999 through December 31, 2010 from the Spirit of Gardening Website.  
Compiled by Mike Garofalo

Last modified or updated on July 7, 2012

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