Thought for the day, Wednesday 3rd May

“There’s a wonderful parable in the New Testament: The sower scatters seeds. Some seeds fall in the pathway and get stamped on, and they don’t grow. Some fall on the rocks, and they don’t grow. But some seeds fall on fallow ground, and they grow and multiply a thousandfold. Who knows where some good little thing that you’ve done may bring results years later that you never dreamed of?”

Unitarian Universalist singer-songwriter and activist Pete Seeger, born on this day in 1919

Thought for the day, Tuesday 2nd May

“For the Celtic peoples, the land was inspirited, able to reflect whatever was done upon it. The concept of the land as inert, unable to respond, was foreign to them. There was also a sense that not every inch of land could be used for human purposes, that some was to be set aside as sacred to the spirits of the land.

The prosperity of the land, the abundance of flocks and herds, the fertility of fields and orchards – all these were dependent upon the sacred ordering that gave respect to the spirit of the land. This intrinsic knowledge arose from the land itself and was mirrored in the way people behaved and believed. In an age when few of us actually work the land with our own hands, this knowledge is now retreating and we begin to see the products of the soil as commodities rather than as inhabitants of the natural order.

The very land and its inhabitants speak to us of spirit and sacred order if we will listen to them. It is in the patient tending and listening that those who have worked the land for generations know when a plant or animal needs particular things, and when some profound wisdom is being conveyed. If we make the spaces for these moments of transmission, create opportunities for communication between ourselves and the land, we may begin to embody the sacred orderliness that maintains our whole ecology.”

Caitlin Matthews

Thought for the day, Friday 28th April

“They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions… but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”

Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, born on this day in 1926

Thought for the day, Thursday 27th April

“It seems wrong that out of this bird,
Black, bold, a suggestion of dark
Places about it, there yet should come
Such rich music, as though the notes’
Ore were changed to a rare metal
At one touch of that bright bill.

You have heard it often, alone at your desk
In a green April, your mind drawn
Away from its work by sweet disturbance
Of the mild evening outside your room.

A slow singer, but loading each phrase
With history’s overtones, love, joy
And grief learned by his dark tribe
In other orchards and passed on
Instinctively as they are now,
But fresh always with new tears.”

R. S. Thomas

Thought for the day, Wednesday 26th April

“Observe constantly that all things take place by change, and accustom thyself to consider that the nature of the Universe loves nothing so much as to change the things which are, and to make new things like them.”

Marcus Aurelius, born on this day in 121

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has revisited one of its most iconic and popular images: the Eagle Nebula’s Pillars of Creation. This image shows the pillars as seen in infrared light, allowing it to pierce through obscuring dust and gas and unveil a more unfamiliar — but just as amazing — view of the pillars. In this ethereal view the entire frame is peppered with bright stars and baby stars are revealed being formed within the pillars themselves. The ghostly outlines of the pillars seem much more delicate, and are silhouetted against an eerie blue haze. Hubble also captured the pillars in visible light.