Contemplate the workings of this world, listen to the words of the wise, take all that is good as your own. With this as your base, open your won door to truth. Do not overlook the truth that is right before you. Study how water flows in a valley stream, smoothly and freely between the rocks. Also learn from holy books and wise people. Everything-even mountains, rivers, plants, and trees-should be your teacher.
Men are born soft and supple; dead, they are stiff and hard. Plants are born tender and pliant; dead, they are brittle and dry. Thus whoever is stiff and inflexible is a disciple of death. Whoever is soft and yielding is a disciple of life. The hard and stiff will be broken. The soft and supple will prevail.
The great French Marshall Lyautey once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow growing and would not reach maturity for 100 years. The Marshall replied, 'In that case, there is no time to lose; plant it this afternoon!'
If you're anxious for to shine in the high aesthetic line As a man of culture rare, You must get up all the germs of the transcendental terms And plant them everywhere. You must lie upon the daisies and discourse in novel phrases Of your complicated state of mind, The meaning doesn't matter if it's only idle chatter Of a transendental kind.
Orpheus with his lute made trees, And the mountain tops that freeze, Bow themselves, when he did sing; To his music, plants and flowers Ever sprung; as sun and showers There had made a lasting spring. Every thing that heard him play, Even the billows of the sea, Hung their heads, and then lay by. In sweet music is such art, Killing care and grief of heart Fall asleep, or hearing, die.
Morning is the best of all times in the garden. The sun is not yet hot. Sweet vapors rise from the earth. Night dew clings to the soil and makes plants glisten. Birds call to one another. Bees are already at work.