All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
We human beings must admit that ours is a peculiar situation: having been born, we are autonomous, open chemical systems that maintain themselves through metabolism at a point far from equilibrium. And we are creatures of thought. What is that? What are the three dimensions? What is energy? We find ourselves in the strange position of being alive. Having been born, we know we are going to die. A lot of thinking says that this is not so strange, that this happens in the universe—living things appear. And yet our physics, which can light the fires of the stars in our deserts, cannot explain the strangeness of the phenomenon of our being alive.
We always live at the time we live and not at some other time, and only by extracting at each present time the full meaning of each present experience are we prepared for doing the same thing in the future.
― John Dewey, Experience and Education
The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us. Thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing. The trees wave and the flowers bloom in our bodies as well as our souls, and every bird song, wind song, and tremendous storm song of the rocks in the heart of the mountains is our song, our very own, and sings our love.
― John Muir