Short Notes and Aphorisms I Wrote to Myself

IN MY ‘WISDOM OF NATURE’ book series, I present short notes and aphorisms I wrote to myself, on this challenging, joyful, fretful, real journey through Life we all share. Each thought is illustrated with a pen & ink drawing that was also a meditative exercise in itself. Every book has its own angle and perspective—from birds to flowers to trees to rivers, all have wisdom to impart if we but look and listen. ‘Breathe the Wind, Drink the Rain’ was the first in the collection, and I still think it’s pretty good, close to the bone. Once in a while I feel a tug to page through it, to gaze at a drawing or ponder a particular line. Here is the text:

Wake up.

Notice how things grow.

Don’t be afraid to see what you see,
hear what you hear,
think what you think,
or feel what you feel.

Attend sunrises.

Watch turtles.

Spend time with what you love.

Waste time with whom you live.

Save time with—forget about saving time.

Have a favorite chair.

Keep your windows clean.

Sit under big trees.

Skinny dip.

Learn to brew good coffee, even if you don’t drink it.

Smell honeysuckle.

Find pussywillows.

Be smart. Think of dumb things and do the opposite.

Pack light.

Leave your own tracks.

Travel well, but Be where you are now.

Thank everything that’s thank-able, every day.

Look often at the moon and stars.

Know that The News is not the world.

Accomplish things the way an apple tree accomplishes apples.

Taste what you eat and smell what you breathe.

Give away.

Don’t chase butterflies. Be still, they’ll land on you.

Tend your garden.

But learn to stop stepping on rakes.


Figure out what you hate about life.

Figure out how to love life anyway.

Notice how unusual everything is.

Make friends with mystery.

Set aside sacred texts and read the universe.

Unwrap the gift of each day.

Do the thing you fear.

Keep your pilot light lit.

Burn old wood, drink old wine, trust old friends, and read old books.

Get off ‘Somday Isle’ and set sail…

For a point on the map, for a point in your heart.

Remember… there is only one real question.

And the answer is Yes.

(Breathe the Wind, Drink the Rain, copyright 2002 Douglas Wood)

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