The Orchid and the Snail: Happy Earth Day!

img_0135Snail feasting on a hardy orchid (Calanthe) in my garden.

We humans think we are smart, but an orchid, for example, knows how to produce noble, symmetrical flowers, and a snail knows how to make a beautiful, well-proportioned shell. Compared with their knowledge, ours is not worth much at all. We should bow deeply before the orchid and the snail and join our palms reverently before the monarch butterfly and the magnolia tree. The feeling of respect for all species will help us recognize the noblest nature in ourselves.
~~Thich Nhat Hanh

Happy Earth Day! May we celebrate the One whom all life depends upon. And may future generations have the opportunity to celebrate this same occasion on a much healthier planet. Take care of your mother (earth). What a wonderful world we live in.

To celebrate, take a close listen to Louis Armstrong’s ‘What a Wonderful World,’ especially the spoken lyrics intro, which I had never heard before. I agree with Old Pops–LOVE baby, LOVE. That’s the secret, yeah.

Spoken Lyrics Intro:
“Some of you young folks been saying to me ” Hey Pops, what you mean ‘What a wonderful world’? How about all them wars all over the place? You call them wonderful? And how about hunger and pollution? That ain’t so wonderful either.” Well how about listening to old Pops for a minute. Seems to me, it aint the world that’s so bad but what we’re doin’ to it. And all I’m saying is see what a wonderful world It would be if only we’d give it a chance. Love baby, love. That’s the secret, yeah. If lots more of us loved each other we’d solve lots more problems. And then this world would be gasser. That’s wha’ ol’ Pops keeps saying.”

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people goin’ by
I see friends shakin’ hands, sayin’
“How do you do?”
They’re really sayin’,
“I love you.”

I hear babies cry, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

Yes, I think to myself
What a wonderful world

I hear babies cry, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

Yes, I think to myself
What a wonderful world
What a wonderful world

 

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43 thoughts on “The Orchid and the Snail: Happy Earth Day!

    1. We are all doing both. I think some out of naivete, but mostly out of ignorance. But many more, out of just not giving a damn. Side note: I have wanted to use that TNH quote for many years in a blog. It has been part of a draft blog post since 2016. I had pictures of a snail and pictures of this orchid. But the perfect day came last week when I got a picture of the snail on the orchid in my garden. Isn’t that perfect timing! Synchronicity:) I love when that happens!

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      1. I wondered and thought maybe you took the pic first and then happily found the quote. I think it’s more meaningful the way it happened! I can’t think of him without thinking of washing dishes. I wrote about that eons ago, about the whole in the moment thing of being THERE washing the dishes. That passage made such an impact on me.
        Yes, hurting it a lot with our ignorance. We fix one thing we do and then it hurts something else. I suppose it’s not possible to live on this earth and not hurt something (thinking of ants under our feet). But we could do so much better!

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      2. I love that part, too. When washing dishes, wash the dishes. He’s insight on life is truly unique. And he teaches in such an easy manner. A true treasure! I’m a gardener who has a terrible time planting because all the earthworms. I try and remove every worm, grub (yes, these too), ant, spider… I’m not a Jain, but I’m very conscious of these little critters’ lives. It can be exhausting, though!

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  1. Lovely photos, Cheryl, and I do love me some Louis Armstrong. Happy Belated Earth Day 😉 And thanks for mentioning your blog post. I thought I was following you but, eh, I wasn’t. But am I now!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pops is right! And Thich Nhat Hanh too. And all of the life around us that never ceases to create wonder. I happily bow to my magnolia every day that I am graced with her beauty (appearing in upcoming post). Your photo is incredible as I presume your garden is too.

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    1. Thank you. ☺️ I spend a lot of time in my garden, and every year I think it gets better. But then summer’s intense heat and drought show up to humble me! 🙂 it’s fun, though, just to have a little plot of earth to play in.

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  3. Wow. Cheryl, what a beautiful and complementary pairing of a quote by Thich Nhat Hanh and a song by Louis Armstrong. I’m impressed!! And what wonderful reminders of how beautiful our world really is – despite all of the less-than-stellar things we’ve done to our planet, still nature continues to amaze and gift us with her glory. Love the snail, too. I’m a fan. 🙂 Jeanne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Jeanne. Yes, nature is generous and so abundant. And wise. Now, if we humans could just pay attention and learn from her, we might be able to enjoy this wonderful world much longer than I fear we might not. There’s nothing that brings me more peace and joy than being out soaking up all of nature’s blessings. 🙂

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  4. Happy Earth Day to you, Cheryl! We so need to see every day as a love the earth day – and I’m good company here for that! Love Louis and had a careful listen to his introduction. Wise words then and wide words now. Some truths are for always and ever.

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