For centuries, nature has inspired writers: Mark Twain retreated to a hut on a farm in upstate New York to write Huckleberry Finn; Henry David Thoreau built himself a hut near Walden pond in Massachusetts; George Orwell sequestered himself on the Scottish island of Jura to write Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Even when the book isn’t about nature, there’s a reason so many writers retreat to the wilderness to do their best work—there’s nothing quite like natural beauty to keep you inspired.
"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. ... There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter."
The Snow Leopard
“The secret of the mountain is that the mountains simply exist, as I do myself: the mountains exist simply, which I do not. The mountains have no 'meaning,' they are meaning; the mountains are."
The Call of the Wild
"But especially he loved to run in the dim twilight of the summer midnights, listening to the subdued and sleepy murmurs of the forest, reading signs and sounds as a man may read a book, and seeking for the mysterious something that called—called, waking or sleeping, at all times, for him to come."
A Book of Bees
“I like pulling on a baggy bee suit, forgetting myself and getting as close to the bees' lives as they will let me, remembering in the process that there is more to life than the merely human.”
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
“If fire doesn't raze the mountain, the land will not be fertile.”
The Solace of Open Spaces
“Everything in nature invites us constantly to be what we are. We are often like rivers: careless and forceful, timid and dangerous, lucid and muddied, eddying, gleaming, still.”
“As I looked about me I felt that the grass was the country, as the water is the sea. The red of the grass made all the great prairie the colour of winestains, or of certain seaweeds when they are first washed up. And there was so much motion in it; the whole country seemed, somehow, to be running.”
Anne's House of Dreams
“The woods call to us with a hundred voices, but the sea has one only — a mighty voice that drowns our souls in its majestic music. The woods are human, but the sea is of the company of the archangels.”
The Secret Garden
"'Is the spring coming?' he said. 'What is it like?' ...
'It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine, and things pushing up and working under the earth.'"
Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God
"If we surrendered
to earth's intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees."
Related: 20 Best Love Poems of All Time
Feature photo courtesy of Milada Vigerova / Unsplash