"The old dead trees are the most fascinating - the countless trees lying in the gullies and up the hills that fell perhaps a century ago, pulling up their roots from the earth as they toppled. The great upheavals left rocks in their huge tentacles and, as they slowly rot, the trunks are home to populations of creatures, from goannas to wild pigs. As grey as tombstones in a cemetery they lie there, having outlasted generations of farmers, as they'll outlast me. In their own way they are as beautiful, more beautiful, than living trees."
"How else could she (Elsa, the lion) know that it needed all the strength of my love for her to leave now and give her back to nature - to let her learn to live alone until she might find her pride - her real pride?"
"Trees are, after all, our largest and oldest living things. They are Australia's natural, national treasures - the true Elders of our vast continent. "
"According to ancient mythology, trees link the Earth to the sky. In this respect trees link humans to another world. "
"The celebrated Aboriginal painter Albert Namatjira loved the Ghost Gums of the Northern Territory... They are evocatively Australian, their white trunks contrasting with the red earth and the deep blue sky of the Dreamtime region that has for centuries sustained Namatjira's Aranda people. "
"The Earth and its magnificent gift of life deserve the best efforts of every human. "
"There was no magic encounter for me with a whale in the ocean; no being zapped by a whale as I snorkelled in their world. Nothing visible or capable of explanation. In fact, I'd never seen a whale. When I first witnessed their terrible death agony, I couldn't get the picture of a whale being harpooned out of my mind. It was a hideous mind-blowing sight. That day I recognised a purpose on the journey of my life. "
"And sees beyond the fire, when trees are bare,
Intention, naked, in the leafless air."
"As for the Ghost Gum... there are those who maintain with a lump in their throats it is the most beautiful tree on earth. "
"Every country has its own landscape which deposits itself in layers on the consciousness of its citizens. "
"Behind us lay the great Antarctic Land; snow peaks rising beyond one another until by distance they dwindled away into insignificancy. The silence and immobility of the scene was impressive; not the slightest animation or vitality anywhere. It was like a mental image of our globe in its primitive state - a spectacle of Chaos. Around is ice and snow and the remnants of internal fires; above, a sinister sky; below the sombre sea; and over all, the silence of the sepulchre!"
"The beauty of the air, from the air... You haven't seen Australia unless you see it from the air. The coastline, the colours of the inland. The claypans, the forests. It's just all so beautiful. You'd never see that from the road. People climb mountains to see these things. You see that every time you take off."
"I hope and pray that mother nature is leaving us alone to get on with the job of cleaning up and recovering from this event. "
"I am ever seeking the quieter beaches.
Do not believe, in Australia, there are miles
where at dawn you will not see the 'prints -
not on the East coast, leastwise. Here reaches
of sand are scarred from daybreak, the tiles
of footprints are laid down, the dents
made by feet in the sand are there; so stale to me,
such beaches are no longer virgin to we few - we
people who do not want to meet each other, ever."
"And at this moment in history, our core value happens to be the raw, aching truth of the human predicament. It may also be the only belief that can save us as a species. A species that will continue to find comfort and delight in the companionship of animals, the miracle of birds, the colours of the corals and the majesty of the forests. We are in it together, on this blue spinning marble in the cold and silent void. And we must act on that belief, if we are going to be able to continue to live a good life here, in this beautiful and fragile country, on this lovely planet, our only home."
"But that Franklin trip changed me profoundly. As I believe wilderness experience changes everyone. Because it puts us in our place. The human place, which our species inhabited for most of its evolutionary life. That place that shaped our psyches and made us who we are. The place where nature is big and we are small."
"We are all born bonded to nature; that's why we put depictions of flowers and forests, rather than bulldozers or log piles, on our walls. "
"But the bush hath moods and changes,
as the seasons rise and fall,
And the men who know the bush-land
- they are loyal through it all."
"A lot of people felt betrayed by nature but personally I don't think we were betrayed because we knew that could happen - we knew it in our heads, but never in our hearts expected it to. We very much believe that the bush was here first and if we come in and impose on it then we can expect to be impacted when nature takes the upper hand. We are getting so far away from an appreciation of the role of nature in our lives it worries me..."
"We are the curators of life on earth. We hold it in the palm of our hand."
"I am lucky to live in an incredible place of deserts and ancient culture. Rugged country, at times harsh and unforgiving, but this facade crumbles every now and again to reveal the true delicacy of life in Desert Country…"
"The universe speaks but we must first learn the language."
"Some see no beauty in our trees without shade, our flowers without perfume, our birds who cannot fly, and our beasts who have not yet learned to walk on all fours. But the dweller in the wilderness acknowledges the subtle charm of this fantastic land of monstrosities. He becomes familiar with the beauty of loneliness. "
"I believe in the relatedness of all forms of life from the simplest to the most complex. We humans share the same family tree as all life on earth, back to the first stirrings in the primal ocean."
"A close contact with nature has been a focus of my life since childhood and has been my inspiration both professionally and personally. I believe that for most of us, most of the time, it is in the everyday experience of beauty, certainly in nature and in music, that we sense a heaven half-revealed and come closest to the true meaning of reality. "
"Our human responsibility for animal rights, plant rights, and the rights of the earth to its health and wholeness is self-evident. Whatever our beliefs about the hereafter we are the temporary custodians of the here-and-now, and if we neglect our obligations or abuse our powers then we abrogate any rights to a further share in this planet's delights. "
"The difference between me and a butterfly is that the butterfly looks at a flower with no purpose in mind but to sip nectar. The flower feeds its body while for me the colours and shapes and scents of flowers feed my heart. But how arrogant of me to assume that the butterfly does not feel its miniscule heart also soar for no reason other than touching and being touched by beauty! "
"The modern Australian must find their sense of place in order to feel truly at home. For me the natural Australian landscape gives that sense of place. "
"No matter how far I have traversed around this earth, I have yet to find another location that rivals Australia. Nowhere else on earth can you find such spectacular landscapes, such unique and fascinating animals, and such warm friendly people. This is why I will always call Australia home. "
"We speak of course of that narrow strip of land over which the ocean waves and moon-powered tides are masters - that margin of territory that remains wild despite the proximity of cities or of land surfaces modified by industry."
"The young leaves is shootin' on the trees,
The air is like a long, cool swig o' beer,
The bonzer smell of flow'rs is on the breeze,
An' 'ere's me, 'ere
Jist moochin' round like some pore, barmy coot,
Of 'ope and joy, an' forchin destichoot."
"Shy gold begins to peep through the sombre green - the wattle's wedding dress - and Spring is near... Then suddenly it seems, one golden morning, the Bush awakes, a living thing. Flowers bloom, birds sing, and all the world puts on its gayest dress to greet the laughing Spring."
"Today's gardens have become far more than things of beauty. And today's generation is fast finding out that backyards can be an extremely resourceful and powerful tool in not just providing food for the family but also a brilliant way of connecting children with the natural world."
"It still feels like home, coming back to Melaleuca, when we come back, however we come. I walk in quite often and it's really nice coming in walking along the track and you gradually get home. But it's exciting flying in as well. I love sort of looking down at the landforms from the plane and the glacial valleys and most gorgeous rivers with the forest all around them."
"After the fire it was a silent forest for many months. The first time I walked through the forest and heard the first bird that lifted the soul absolutely. It is like there are two courses running parallel - as the community goes through its recovery; the forest is doing the same in the background. "
"The Australian continent is rich with indigenous flora whose power transcends any sense of jingoism. "
"The flora, fauna and landscaping of a nation contributes to the identification of a national soul. "
"The seasons of nature resonate with the seasons of the soul."
"I have always had, as I know many people have, a singular passion for Australia. I do love the sunburnt country, its ancient landscapes, its exhilarating reaches of sand and sea. "
"Our senses convey that all is not well with the natural world."
"But we have to look after mother nature so she can look after us - the water, the soil, the air and all the life within it."
"Every creature and plant is part of her (mother nature's) amazing interconnected garden... The whole world is a garden."
"The love of gardening and a desire to cultivate the soil is a natural inheritance of the human race... The advance of civilisation has ever been marked by a development of horticultural art"
"I'm the tree you are me
with the land and the sea
we are one life not three
in the essence of life
we are one."
"The ocean humbles you. You can go and win a world title, but you're never going to beat the ocean."
"I am a native of the soil and I am proud of my birthplace. It is true its past has not been hallowed in history by the achievements of men whose name reflected a light upon the times in which they lived. We have no long line of poets or statesmen or warriors; in this country, Art has done nothing but Nature is everything. IT IS OURS, THEN, ALONE TO INAUGURATE THE FUTURE."
"All the birds and insects keep
Where the coolest shadows sleep;
Even the busy ants are found
Resting in their pebbled mound;
Even the locust clingeth now
Silent to the barky bough:
Over hills and over plains
Quiet, vast and slumbrous, reigns."
"Not a sound disturbs the air,
There is quiet everywhere;
Over plains and over woods
What a mighty stillness broods!
Only there's drowsy humming
From the yon warm lagoon slow coming:
Tis the dragon-hornet - see!
All bedaubed resplendently.
O 'tis easeful here to lie
Hidden from noon's scorching eye,
In the grassy cool recess
Musing thus of quietness."
"Nature's Moods The water is always changing and whenever you look at it you get something back. I'm sure the water isn't aware of me but I'm very much aware of it. Living by the water means constant company. "
"Beautifully Bleak. I likened the hills encircling Canberra to the sea. They, like the sea, could be a sunny beguiling blue, or deep and inky. They could be distant and mysterious, or beautifully bleak as the wind tore across the plains from their snowy peaks. The hills were ever changing like the sea. "
"One thing I've learned from my short time trying to be a farmer is that our farmers have to be the bravest, most optimistic people in the world. To go back to the land year after year, after what nature throws at them and the world economy does to their income, takes a special kind of person. "
"Its (the gum tree) main appeal to me has been its combination of mightiness and delicacy - mighty in its strength of limb and delicate in the colouring of its covering. Then it has distinctive qualities; in fact I know of no other tree which is more decorative, both as regards the flow of its limbs and the patterns the bark makes on its main trunk. In all its stages the gum tree is extremely beautiful."
"If the monkeys had been concerned only with monkey Beings they would never have become men."
"The seed must move to the soil; the tree must turn to the sun. The river must leave its source to reach the sea. And man must forget man, the maker, in order to make the world."
"All the unhallowed beauty I have found;
All free - discordant shrills
and form-defying wonders above ground,
like writhen trees with draggled foliage
struggling along the courses of wayback creeks;
scarlet - and - green
sky - streaking parrot - fires with parrot shrieks
echo - shattering the shoulders of the hills;
and desert - sunset - rage
Rage for my mind, be clamant, do not cease
you are my holiest habitat of peace."
"No one could fail to be touched by the valley's grandeur, with sunlight glittering on its streams and a deep silence under the whisper of the wind blowing constantly across the plateau."
"I have no fear of losing my life - if I have to save a koala or a crocodile or a kangaroo or a snake, mate, I will save it."
"I feel like I'm nothing without wildlife. They are the stars. I feel awkward without them. "
"As the world becomes more environmentally aware, I believe that we must as individuals recognize the magnificence of our natural world, and feel a sense of accountability for our actions which affect it. "
"In a landscape crowded with visual elements, it may be difficult to see the wood from the trees. We need to sit quietly and observe for a while."
"Magpies are crying their last melancholy carol of the day and the sound strikes a corresponding chord in my soul. "
"Our backyard is our little piece of heaven... You can hear the birds, the sounds of nature, kids screaming, playing and enjoying themselves."
"And sometimes lying there under the night,
wet by a passing shower, we see emerge
from milky cloud, a blown moon in full flight,
then suddenly the trees on either edge,
Stringy and scribbly and apple box
burn with the voltage of a million live
as though the stars had flown them in flocks
singing and sighing, glittering in the leaves."
"Grey winter hath gone like a wearisome guest,
And, behold for repayment
September comes in with the wind of the west
And the spring in her raiment...
O season of changes - of shadow and shine -
September the splendid!"
"I liked the South-West straightaway... the beautiful scenery, the way the mountains slope down to the sea. And the wildness of it all. "
"Australia! Australia! so fair to behold -
While the blue sky is arching above;
The stranger should never have need to be told,
That the Wattle-bloom means that her heart is of gold,
And the Waratah's red with her love."
"While Australians may have uncertainties about the authenticity of their man-made culture, there can be no doubt that the land beneath their feet that stretches into the unknown beyond their horizons is utterly real and natural. It has identity and integrity. It has soul. Yet all too easily a nation that is predominantly urban in character may lose sight of its natural setting and spirit of country - and be all the poorer, sadder and less vital for such loss of connection; it may suffer some deadening loss of imagination, joyous humility and visionary innocence. A nation may turn its back on its greatest source of wisdom and underestimate how much it needs the natural world."
"At the very simplest, I think as Van Gogh said and St Francis would have said, we must find nature. Just to be in the presence of nature your feelings and 'little seedlings' start to awake. So if we disassociate ourselves from God we cut nature out, too. More and more we turn nature into a commodity, into eco-tourism. But we must integrate it into the way people live every day. "
"If European symbols and traditions have grown tired, perfunctory and oppressively banal in Australia, or been drained of spirit and meaning by the dreary dictates of materialism and secularity, then the raw spirit truth of our native land is alive and radiant by comparison. For joy and meaning we might well turn to our natural country and witness miracles of vitality and new life, of inspiration and profound beauty; all in some humble, quiet and improbable place."
"Yet out in the countryside, beyond the harsh gravity of the material world, far from Father Christmas and closer to Mother Nature, a wondrous child may behold the miracles of the bush and know that new life and great beauty are abundant and eternal. There is no monumental religious event in this infinity of detail and diversity; it is all part of a broader ancient miracle.
Huge clouds of brown butterflies swirl up into the dazzling light, parrots swoop to grassy earth, honeyeaters ravish the sweet flowers of the bottlebrush, echidnas trundle steadily in search of each other, lizards dart among ants and ancient rocks, the fine branchlets of manna gums quiver to the mating growls of koalas, ibises stroll and feast on grasshoppers and gleaming Christmas beetles hang from eucalyptus leaves like small green baubles. The birds sing gloriously and not a wrong note is heard. This is Christmas in the bush..."
"I need to get out and about more, taste the world, taste nature, and taste the garden. I'm too house bound. That limits my spirit. My spirit needs contact with the outdoors to flourish. I need my garden. I need to plant, to watch things grow, to feel the earth under my feet and in my hands, to know that life will go on."
"I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains,
Of rugged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons, I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror - the wide brown land for me!"
"Standards and beliefs are the foundation of our character. It is what we stand for. A wise man once said that if you do not stand for something, you will fall for anything. Likewise, we must stand for something in our life. The stronger we do so, the stronger and deeper our roots will grow to give us stability in life. Our strength comes from connecting with them. We will then withstand any storms that blow our way. Some winds of change might bend and break the branches on the Trees of Life but our roots below the ground never die. They remain hidden and protected. They do not see the struggle or the storm. They are unmoving and serene. They fortify all that is above ground, ensuring that we grow from these tough experiences. "
"The earth's warmth under me, as I stretch out at night, is astonishing. It is like the warmth of another body that has absorbed the sun all day and now gives out again its store of heat. It is softer, darker than I could ever have believed, and when I take a handful of it and smell its extraordinary odors, I know suddenly what it is I am composed of, as if the energy that is in this fistful of black soil had suddenly opened, between my body and it, as between it and the green stalks, some corridor along which our common being flowed."
"I no longer fear it. I lie down to sleep, and wonder if, in the looseness of sleep, I mightn't strike down roots along all the length of my body, and as I enter the first dream, almost feel it begin to happen, feel my individual pores open to the individual grains of the earth, as the interchange begins. When I wake I am entirely reconciled to the process. I shall settle deep into the earth, deeper than I do in sleep, and will not be lost. We are continuous with earth in all the particles of our physical being, as in our breathing we are continuous with sky. Between our bodies and the world there is unity and commerce."
"Voyage within you, on the fabled ocean,
And you will find the Southern Continent,
Quiro's vision - the hidalgo heart
And mythical Australia, where reside
All things in the imagined counterpart.
It is your land of similes: the wattle
Scatters the pollen of the doubting heart;
The flowers are wide-awake;
the air gives ease.
There you come home; the magpies
call you Jack
And whistle like larrikins at you
from the trees"
"There are no lines in nature. "
"Nature is the most beautiful thing we have. It's better than art because it's from the creator. "
"Look closely at nature. Every species is a masterpiece, exquisitely adapted to the particular environment in which it has survived. Who are we to destroy or even diminish biodiversity?"
"Here tower bright green soft woods smothered in all manner of living parasites, orchids and ferns; looped and twisted with hundreds of feet of great vines, thick as the upper arm. The jungle teems with exotic birds who never cross the dark threshold into the sunny warmth of the eucalyptus country. Here too, are colourful outlandish flowers which bloom only in green twilight."
"When Nature's heart was young and wild,
She bore in secret a love-child,
And weeping, laughed - too glad to dress
Its lawless naked loveliness."
"It can be that in moments of intense self doubt, seeing glorious wattle blossom can reaffirm our faith in ourselves, remind us of that eternal optimism, that nature rejuvenates itself and continues the cycle of life - and so can we."
"I do not know much about gods; but I think the river
Is a strong brown god -sullen, untamed, intractable,
Patient to some degree, a first as a frontier."
"The river is within us, the sea is all about us."
"I think nature should be looked at like a dictionary; you have to pick out the right nouns and adverbs and make them work as a metaphor."
"I am motivated by a passion for nature. Acknowledging the loss of many of our unique wild places and creatures, it has become my objective as a photographer and publisher to inspire others to champion their protection. I believe we inherited a world in balance and we should be ever vigilant in maintaining that balance."
"My theory is that if we don't connect to nature, mentally, physically or spiritually, we're lost. Teaching children to photograph an animal is to understand its behaviour, its habitat and why that habitat must be preserved. In a nation of city dwellers with an ever expanding migrant population, it's crucial to plug people in, give them respect and connection to their natural environment. "
"As a naturalist, photographer, publisher and promoter of Australia and its natural history, I have immersed myself in the natural world for the past five decades... However, on my journey, at both a business and personal level, I wrestled with what my contribution should be to the protection of the plants, animals and habitats I was photographing. After all I knew well that human help was required to conserve these places and their wild inhabitants."
"celebrate, inspire, connect "
"Educating others was my primary objective in starting the company. It wasn't just about taking spectacular images, although that is extremely rewarding, too. It was about promoting an understanding for the importance of nature. The first step has to be to light a fire in someone - inspire them to learn more, inspire them to genuinely become one with nature, urge them to connect with it and to celebrate its beauty and diversity. Then let's talk about saving it. "
" It truly was astonishing, the depth and breadth of this land. I really felt a calling to show it to others; to ensure that we not only appreciated what we have down here, down under, but that we were willing to protect it, too. At the time I started Steve Parish Publishing, environmental issues were only just coming to the fore. People were beginning to question what we were doing to nature. I still feel that nature is under attack and it is enormously frustrating that we continue to march hell-bent on destroying what we love and what is necessary for us - both spiritually and materially - as it is for all life forms. "
"I realised that, unless I was to become a politician or a researcher, my only real contribution could be to build a publishing enterprise based on sound commercial principles, that would ignite in others a passion for the natural world. I chose to target children of all ages. I soon found I was able to create, produce and sell products that celebrated nature and inspired a personal connection with its beauty and fragility. I knew that my young audience, having made a connection, would grow up believing in the magic of nature. When environmental issues arose, these children, now adults, would lend their voices to make the collective environmental consciousness stronger. This is my drive and has been my reason for being for the last half a century."
"Nothing could have prepared me for the awesome moment, or for the beauty and majesty of this huge fish at home in its natural environment... I am able to cruise alongside the huge whale shark, pause to wonder at its size and grandeur, absorb the slow swing of its tail fin and its calm glide just below the surface of the ocean... Huge they may be, but the grace and poetry of the movement of these whales is awesome."
"The heat is searing and superb. The paddocks surrounding the town are bleached blond. The distant ring-barked gums, mile after mile, wriggle in the heat-waves, and seem to melt like the bristles of a melting hairbrush. The hills turn powder-blue and gauzy. Mirages resembling pools of mica and shallows of crystal water appear at the far ends of streets and roads. Punctually at eleven every burning morning, the cicadas begin to drill the air, to drill themselves also, ceaselessly and relentlessly, to death in one short day after seven long years underground."
"The rains come and in less than a week we have new life."
"There is nothing more delightful than to scoop up a wild joey in your arms and smell the wind and eucalyptus in the coats of the gentle kangaroo or the deep-earth smell of tiny wallabies. It is wonderful to see the trust in their eyes and the gradual realization that you mean them no harm. "
"The love I have for our wildlife is so great, it fills my world. After Black Saturday I saw a world that was black and white, void of animals and humans. What I missed most was the love and life of living with the wildlife. Each day I think of the ones gone and there is a deep hole in my heart. I did not miss the humans or the sounds they make, I missed the animals the sounds of peace and love that came from them. Such beauty and harmony with nature, only animals can be that smart. "
"But it was in Australia that I gained my first impressions of the beauty of the world, and it was the Bush that taught me. "
"The blossoming of the waratah, the song of the lyrebird, typify the spirit of primitive loveliness in our continent; but the wail of the dingo, the gauntness of our tall trees by silent moonlight, can provide a shiver of terror to a newcomer. Against background strangeness, of strange beasts and birds and plants, in a human emptiness of three million square miles... A new nation, a new human type, is being formed in Australia."
"Frogs eat Butterflies,
Snakes eat Frogs,
Hogs eat Snakes,
Men eat Hogs."
"I sit here in the upper circle surrounded by copper and gold, and smile with joy under my fly net as all the light, glory and quivering brightness passes slowly and freely before my eyes. Nothing happier than this. I shout and laugh at my immense wealth, all free and without responsibility. Who could steal this from me? No one. Oh that I could roll some up - as at present."
"Nature's scheme of colour in Australia is gold and blue."
"Beautiful is nature, more or less, almost everywhere; but most grand and impressive where the hand of man has not marred and spoilt it: and this spoiling process, how soon it proceeds with advancing civilisation. "
"The gum-tree, fiercely misunderstood by the laborious pioneer wresting his little clearing from its vast forests, is only now beginning to be appreciated at its true worth by a generation that, through an easier and gentler contact with it, has come to love its manifold beauties."
"The sea is the mother of all life including our own. "
"A child born today will never know the marine world as nature intended it to be. They can only know how man has made it. "
"When you look a great ocean predator in the eye you glimpse a perfection born from a time before men walked the earth. The animal is innocent of our failings, it is at one with the environment that supports it and you feel humbled at the privilege of that precious moment. "
"People fear sharks with an unreasonable terror. They say the only good shark is a dead one never considering they have right to a place on this planet equal to our own. They have a role to play in the health of our ocean. Nature in her wisdom does not make mistakes, only we humans do. "
"To spend time alone in the Australian bush is to experience our union with nature. It is powerfully reassuring."
"Toujours, tourjours gum-tree! "
"On a feeling and sensitive mind a demolished forest impresses unmingled sadness, whereas its primeval grandeur must inspire anyone to immeasurable delight, who is susceptible to the beauties of nature. "
"Nature is our greatest teacher. "
"The beauty of the Australian bush is staggering. I have been much struck with the subdued and harmonious colours of the landscape - the distinctiveness of the quiet greys of the bush... Wherever you look, there are romantic tapestries, and human intervention cannot improve that design. "
"Blossoms on the fruit trees everywhere and the perfume is very heady. I love it. How amazing that nature can produce these blossoms like clockwork and that they smell as sweet as the fruit. "
"I look out this window and think this is a cosmos, this is a huge creation, this is one small corner of it. The trees and the birds and everything else and I am part of it. I didn't ask to be put here. I've been lucky finding myself here. "
"We are not sea people by way of being great mariners, but more of a coastal people, content on the edge of things. We live by the sea not simply because it is more pleasant to be a lazy nation, but because of the two mysteries the sea is more forthcoming; its miracles and wonders are occasionally more palpable, however inexplicable they be. There is more bounty, more possibility for us in a vista that moves, rolls, surges, twists, rears up and changes from minute to minute. The innate human feeling from the veranda is that if you look out to sea long enough, something will turn up... The beach, in Australia, is the landscape equivalent of the veranda, a veranda at the edge of the continent."
"I love the sea but it does not love me. The sea is like a desert in that it is quite rightly feared. The sea and the desert are both hungry, they have things to be getting on with so you do not go into them lightly."
"I don't believe there's anything cosmic or divine or morally superior about whales and dolphins or sharks or trees, but I do think that everything that lives is holy and somehow integrated; and on cloudy days I suspect that these extraordinary phenomena, and the hundreds of tiny, modest versions no one hears about, are an ocean, an earth, a Creator, something shaking us by the collar, demanding our attention, our fear, our vigilance, our respect, our help."
"Yet however comforting and peaceful beach-combing is, it ends up like the sea, as disturbing as it is reassuring. In dark moments I believe that walking on a beach at low tide is to be looking for death, or at least anticipating it. You will only find the dead, the spilled and the cast-off. Things torn free of their life or their place."
"There is nowhere else I'd rather be, nothing else I would prefer to be doing. I am at the beach looking west with the continent behind me as the sun tracks down to the sea. I have my bearings."
"The desert is a spiritual place, we vaguely understand, and the sea the mere playground of our hedonism."
"The ocean is a supreme metaphor for change. I expect the unexpected but am never fully prepared."
"The beachcomber goes looking for trouble, everything he finds is a sign of trouble. The writer is the same; without trouble he has nothing to work with, so he picks over the tide line, over the bits and pieces of people's lives with grim fascination."
"For every moment the sea is peace and relief, there is another when it shivers and stirs to become chaos. It's just as ready to claim as it is to offer."
"Everything we do in this country is still overborne and underwritten by the seething tumult of nature."
"Now that I know that each star has its path, each bird is finally feathered and grown in the unbroken shell, each tree in the seed, each song in the life laid down - is the night sky any less strange; should my glance less follow the flight; should the pen shake less in my hand. "
"Wisdom can see the red, the rose,
the stained and sculptured curve of grey,
the charcoal scars of fire, and see
around that living tower of tree
the hermit tatters of old bark
split down and strip to end the season;
and can be quiet and not look
for reasons past the edge of reason."