Ralph Waldo Emerson

Public Domain photo of Emerson circa 1857.
Today is the birthday of Ralph Waldo Emerson, born May 25, 1803.  I am an admirer of his.  Having found transcendence in the forests I suppose it is only fitting I should admire him.  I am a person who finds the spiritual out in nature.  Who revels in the glory and splendors of this natural world that are beyond my mere mortal comprehension. 

I've been watching the Ken Burns National Parks film and have been feeling the call of the mountains so strongly.  The whisper of the wild saying I'd been away too long.  I've been listening to the words of John Muir, wilderness prophet, and Henry David Thoreau, perhaps the best known student of Emerson's and feeling inspired and uplifted.  The words from these kindred spirits and the wild places of this earth fill me with appreciation and joy. Who knows were I'd have ended up without them.

So, below are a few Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes I enjoy and will contemplate today.  Enjoy!

"Finish each day and be done with it.  You have done what you could."

"God enters by a private door into every individual."

"If I have lost confidence in myself, I have the universe against me.

"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air..."

"Nothing can bring you peace but yourself."

"Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you."

"This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it."

"The foundations of a person are not in matter but in spirit."

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."

"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting."

 "To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children....to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.  This is to have succeeded."


  1. You would like Wordsworth, and the other Romantic poets. Have you read Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Childhood, written by Wordsworth. Romantic poets and the Transcendentalists are my absolute favorites.

  2. Thank you for your post of Emerson quotes! You have made my day!

  3. Parsimony- I've read a touch of Wordsworth, but not the piece you suggest I don't believe. Thanks so much for the suggestion. I will go check the library catalog!

    Lottie- I am so glad you enjoyed them. They made my day as well. Especially that last one...nah...it was all of them!


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