Hearing, Listening, Silence
Sounds, Noise, Music, Quiet

Quotes for Those that Love
Gardens, Gardening and the Green Way


Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo


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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.
-  Hermann Hesse,  Wandering





I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
-  John Burroughs






There is no such thing as an empty space or an empty time.
There is always something to see, something to hear.
In fact, try as we may to make a silence, we cannot
-   John Cage







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Fieldes have eies and woods have eares.
-  John Heywood, 1565





Silence is more musical than any song.
-   Christina Rossetti






In wilderness people can find the silence and the solitude
and the noncivilized surroundings that can connect them
once again to their evolutionary heritage, and through an
experience of the eternal mystery, can give them a sense
of the sacredness of all creation.

-   Sigurd Olson (1899-1982)






Unlike seeing, where one can look away, one cannot 'hear away'
but must listen ... hearing implies already belonging together in
such a manner that one is claimed by what is being said.

-  Hans-Georg Gadamer






The inability to stay quiet is one 
of the conspicuous failings of mankind.
-  Walter Bagehot, 1870







As the waves of perfume, heliotrope, rose, 
Float in the garden when no wind blows, 
Come to us, go from us, whence no one knows; 

So the old tunes float in my mind, 
And go from me leaving no trace behind, 
Like fragrance borne on the hush of the wind.
-   Sara Teasdale,  Old Tunes







There are many matters and many circumstances in which
consciousness is undesirable and silence is golden, so that
secrecy can be used as a marker to tell us that we are
approaching the holy.
-  Gregory Bateson, Angels Fear







Our problem is that sound is not important in our culture. 
We know the world from the visual, not from the other senses. 
I had to be taught other ways of understanding.
-  Bernie Krause, sound recordist,  Wild Sanctuary






I have often regretted my speech, never my silence.
-   Anonymous







Solitude, though it may be silent as light, is like light,
the mightiest of agencies; for solitude is essential to
man.  All men come into this world alone
and leave it alone.
-   Thomas De Quincey






Not merely an absence of noise, Real Silence begins
when a reasonable being withdraws from the noise in
order to find peace and order in his inner sanctuary.
-   Peter Minard






I wonder about the trees.
Why do we wish to bear
Forever the noise of these
More than another noise
So close to our dwelling place?
-   Robert Frost, The Sound of Trees






Read with your ears.
-   Gerald M. Hopkins






Men trust their ears less than their eyes.
-   Herodotus







I have often lamented that we cannot close 
our ears with as much ease as we can our eyes.
- Richard Steele, 1720







There's music in the sighing of a reed;
There's music in the gushing of a rill;
There's music in all things, if men had ears:
Their earth is but an echo of the spheres.
-   Lord Byron



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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden,
but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it.
-   Minnie Aumonier






Passions are likened best to floods and streams:
The shallow murmur, but the deep are dumb.
-  Sir Walter Raleigh,  1552 - 1618







Music washes away from the soul
the dust of everyday life.
-   Berthold Auerbach






"Organismic awareness is what we - on the Ego Level - ordinarily, but clumsily, refer to as seeing, touching, tasting, smelling and hearing.   But in its very purest form, this "sensual awareness" is non-symbolic, non-conceptual, momentary consciousness.  Organismic awareness is awareness of the Present only -  you can't taste the past, smell the past, see the past, touch the past, or hear the past.  Neither can you taste, smell, see, touch or hear the future.   In other words, organismic consciousness is properly timeless, and being timeless, it is essentially spaceless.  Just as organismic awareness knows no past or future, it knows no inside or outside, no self or other.  Thus pure organismic consciousness participates fully in the non-dual awareness called Absolute Subjectivity."
-  Ken Wilber, Spectrum of Consciousness, 1977, p. 115







As the cow and goat, as well as the herb, the tree and the
vegetation, can read the thoughts of us all, chanting and
singing should occur while tending to their needs.
-  Hindu Deva Shastra, verse 439,  Nature Devas




What a pity flowers can utter no sound!—A singing rose, 
a whispering violet, a murmuring honeysuckle ...
oh, what a rare and exquisite miracle would these be! 
-   Henry Ward Beecher




Oak Woodland Sounds - California Trees
By Carol Henderson







True silence is the rest of the mind; it is to the spirit what
sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.
-   William Penn






I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.
-   Henry David Thoreau





Flowers and plants are silent presences.
They nourish every sense except the ear.   

-   May Sarton





A farmer routinely slept all night peacefully, even though at exactly 3.07 every
morning a train passed and blew its whistle very loud and long.  Then one night
for some reason the train did not pass.  At 3.07 the farmer sat up, wild-eyed,
in the dark silence and said, "What was that ?"







Solitude is a silent storm that breaks down all our dead branches;
yet it sends our living roots deeper into the living heart
of the living earth.
-   Kahlil Gibran






I have come to terms with the future.  From this day onward I will 
walk easy on the earth.  Plant trees.  Kill no living things.  Live in 
harmony with all creatures.  I will restore the earth where I am. 
Use no more of its resources than I need.  And listen, listen to 
what it is telling me. 
-   M. J. Slim Hooey





A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life,
for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy can live.
-   Bertrand Russell





A few days ago I walked along the edge of the lake and was treated 
to the crunch and rustle of leaves with each step I made.  The 
acoustics of this season are different and all sounds, no matter 
how hushed, are as crisp as autumn air.
-   Eric Sloane





I love to seclude myself in my garden, away from the hustle and bustle of daily
living.  It gives me a chance to focus on my surroundings.  Soon, all I notice is
that beautiful "Betty Prior" rose just opening or those pines whispering stories to
each other.  And the clatter and roar of modern life fades into the background.
-  Jim Childs, Sounds in the Garden, Garden Gate, No. 28, August 1999, pp. 14-17.
In this article he discusses how to deal with sound waves in landscape design
by absorption, deflection, reflection, and refraction. 





We live on the leash of our senses.  There is no way in which to understand 
the world without first detecting it through the radar-net of our senses.  
-   Diane Ackerman






                   seeks the center
                              of every tree and rock,
                                                      that thing we hold closest—the end
      of songs.
-  Michael McClintock,  
, Cinquain from Amaze







                         Nor rural sights alone, but rural sounds,
         Exhilirate the spirit, and restore
The tone of languid nature.
                   -    William Cowper






Seeing - Quotes for Gardeners







Snowmobiles, jet skis, dirt bikes, ATVs - oh for the days
when people lived lives of
quiet desperation.
- Terry Morse






When they turned off, it was still early in the pink and green fields.
The fumes of morning, sweet and bitter, sprang up where they

walked.   The insects ticked softly, their strength in reserve;
butterflies chopped the air, going to the east, and the birds flew
carelessly and sang by fits and starts, not the way they did
in the evening in sustained and drowsy songs.
-   Eudora Welty, The Wide Net






After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.
-  Aldos Huxley






Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted.
Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world.
-   Hans Margolius






It travels inside and out of each of Nature's ears
Chattering noisily
Unwilling to permit you not to listen
Yet paying no heed to your ability to understand.
-   Chang Shiang-hua






I do not know which to prefer -
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.
-   Wallace Stevens, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, 1923







Silence is not a thing we make;   it is something into which we enter.
It is always there.  All we can make is noise.

-  Mother Maribel of Wantage






St. John of the Cross points out that the divine music can best be
heard in solitude and silence.  The sonorous music is not a physical
sound that vibrates the eardrum but something transcending the
senses.  Physical solitude and silence remove the distracting noises
that prevent us from hearing on deeper levels.
-   Charles Cummings







We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness.
God is the friend of silence.  See how nature--trees, flowers, grass--grows
in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence...
we need silence to be able to touch souls.
-   Mother Teresa







Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing,
of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear,

and not bothering.
-   Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne






Listening to the eternal involves a silence within us.
-   Thomas Kelly, Reality and the Spiritual World







Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who
listed to us are the ones we move toward, and we want to sit in their radius.
When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.
-   Karl Menninger





The hum of bees is the voice of the garden.   
-   Elizabeth Lawrence





Silence is our deepest nature, our home, our common
ground, our peace.  Silence reveals.  Silence heals.
-   Gunilla Norris






Art - Quotes for Gardeners






"Rocks pray to," said Grandad.  "Pebbles and boulders
and old weathered hills.  They are still and silent, and
those are two important ways to pray."
-  Douglas Wood, Grandad's Prayers of the Earth.






Maybe if I listen closely to the rocks
Next time, I'll hear something, if not
A word, perhaps the faint beginning
of a syllable.
-   Phoebe Hanson






There is in all things an inexhaustible sweetness and purity,
a silence that is a fount of action and joy.  It rises up in wordless
gentleness and flows out to me from the unseen roots of all
created being, welcoming me tenderly, saluting me with
indescribable humility.
-   Thomas Merton






The bare earth, plantless, waterless, is an immense puzzle.
In the forests or beside rivers everything speaks to humans.
The desert does not speak.  I could not comprehend its
tongue; its silence....
-   Pablo Neruda







                        They spoke no word,
The visitor, the host
                                     And the white chrysanthemum.

                                      -   Ryota






Accustomed to the veneer of noise, to the shibboleths of promotion,
public relations, and market research, society is suspicious of

those who value silence.

-   John Lahr







Links and References



Battle Hymn of the Field Botanist.  By Bob Hole, Jr.

Sound as Healer

Van Morrison's Song Lyrics





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More Quotes





Spirituality and Concerns of the Soul


Weeds and Weeding

Simplicity and the Simple Life

Pulling Onions
Quips and Observations by Michael P. Garofalo

The Essence of Gardening

Working in the Garden

Garden Digest Links


Haiku Poetry  -  Links and References

Cliches for Gardeners and Farmers

The History of Gardening Timeline
From Ancient Times to the 20th Century

Short Poems by Mike Garofalo

Seeing and Vision

Beauty in the Garden

Seasons and Time

Comments about this Web Site

Jokes, Riddles and Humor


Quotes for Gardeners

Quotes, Sayings, Proverbs, Poetry, Maxims, Quips, Cliches, Adages, Wisdom
A Collection Growing to Over 2,700 Quotes, Arranged by 130 Topics
Many of the Documents Include Recommended Readings and Internet Links.
Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo



The Spirit of Gardening





Distributed on the Internet by Michael P. Garofalo


I Welcome Your Comments, Ideas, Contributions, and Suggestions
E-mail Mike Garofalo in Red Bluff, California

A Short Biography of Mike Garofalo

Hearing -  Quotes for Gardeners
March 27, 2003



The Spirit of Gardening


Haiku and Zen Poetry

The History of Gardening Timeline

Quotes for Gardeners