Human and Nature
The intimacy between man and Nature began with the birth of man on the earth, and becomes each century more intelligent and far-reaching. To Nature, therefore, we turn as to the oldest aim most influential teacher of our race; from one point of view once our task-master, now our servant; from another point of view, our constant friend, instructor and inspirer. The very intimacy of this relation robs it of a certain mystery and richness which it would have for all minds if it were the reward of the few instead of being the privilege of the many. To the few it is, in every age, full of wonder and beauty; to the many it is a matter of course.
The heavens shine for all, but they have a changing splendor to those only who see in every midnight sky a majesty of creative energy and resource which no repetition of the spectacle can dim. If the stars shone but once in a thousand years, men would gaze, awe struck and worshipful, on a vision which is not less but more wonderful because it shines nightly above the whole earth. In like manner, and for the same reason, we become indifferent to that delicately beautiful or sublimely impressive sky scenery which the clouds form and reform, compose and dissipate, a thousand times on a summer day. The mystery, the terror, and the music of the sea; the secret and subduing charm of the woods, so full of healing for the spent mind or the restless spirit; the majesty of the hills, holding in their recesses the secrets of light and atmosphere; the infinite variety of landscape, never imitative or repetitious, but always appealing to the imagination with some fresh and unsuspected loveliness; who feels the full power of these marvelous resources for the enrichment of life, or takes from them all the health, delight, and enrichment they have to bestow?