Connecting to Nature By Words and Pictures

Sometimes we cannot escape to a place that soothes our need for nature. When this happens here is a collection of pictures taken by photographers that bring me to a place of peace and tranquility.

I find a passage that makes me think of experiences I have had in nature. Then I see images of those times. Sometimes I reach for photos to add to the words…to calm me, bring me to a place of quiet. The following photos and passages may bring you back to nature to provide some solace and a place to go; may it at least be a temporary substitute.

Memory is an emerging organism, one that simultaneously lives and dies. We call a body of water a river precisely because it consists of dynamic water; if water should cease to flow, we would not call it a river, but a lake, a pond, or a swamp. The river, like an ecosystem, lives a remarkable existence, one in which it remains what it is only by changing what it contains. …I considered the symbolic qualities of the act of navigation and the sky as a bridge between the known (earth) and the unknown (the universe).

—The Rose-Window work by Hong Hong – Exhibition at The Yesier Art Center, Paducah, KY)


The water is wide, I cannot get over
Neither have I wings to fly
Give me a boat that can carry two
and both shall row, my love and I

The seagulls wheel
They run and dive
The mountain stands beside the sea
This world we know turns round and round
And all for them – and you and me

"Water Is Wide" – Pete Seeger





…the river is deep and the river is wide, hallelujah
Milk and honey on the other side, hallelujah...

"Michael Rowed the Boat Ashore"  – Pete Seeger and the Weavers









Say Dan can’t you see that big green tree, where the water’s runnin’ free. It’s waiting there for you and me and water…cool, clear water

Cool Water" – Hank Williams













To the mountains, I can rest there. To the rivers, I will be strong. To the forests, I’ll find peace there. To the wild country, where I belong.

”To the Wild Country" – John Denver











Celebrate morning

The cry of a loon on a lake in the night
The dreams that are born in the dawn’s early light
Celebrate Morning

Celebrate living
The laughter that sings in the heart of a child
The freedom that flies at the call of the wild
Celebrate living

Celebrate evening
The stars that appear in the loss of the sun
Whispering winds, ‘We are one, we are on?...”

"Earth Day, Every Day" – John Denver

“…I set to music the speech of Chief Seattle, in which he asks us to protect the speaking water and the pure air and the trees and plant and all the fish and beasts ‘for we are but a strand in the web of life.’ I called the piece, ‘Earth is Our Mother.’ I have since written other music on this little island, and the harmony with nature that I feel at this spot. Surrounded by life-giving water, is inspirational to me.”

 –Dave Brubeck in "Water Music": Photographs and Orchestrated by Marjorie Ryerson with an introduction by Paul Winter. University of Michigan Press, 2006.

It felt like a fortnight ago, where I lay upon the water siding, as the light dimmed into darkness. I awakened to the brilliant sun, years later. I wondered where the time had gone.

– JAB; Photo by Terry Wilson


All other photographs by Joe Baust, Deb Spillman and Terry Wilson


Thanks for sharing these. I live in Brooklyn and it's 90+ here and these really help. Kristin