Mother Nature

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Joseph Werner: Diana of Ephesus as allegory of Nature, c. 1680

Mother Nature (sometimes known as Mother Earth or the Earth-Mother) is a common personification of nature that focuses on the life-giving and nurturing aspects of nature by embodying it in the form of the mother.

This page includes only those quotes that personify Nature, ascribing qualities to her that could only be possessed by a person, or that explicitly label her a mother.  For quotes about nature in general, see nature.  Note, there will invariably be some overlap between the two pages.

Quotes attributed to Mother Nature[edit]

Quotes about Mother Nature[edit]

  • Had Mother Nature been a real parent, she would have been in jail for child abuse and murder.
  • Mother Nature is never gonna take a loss. She wins every time; the only bitch I know that wins 100% of the time. You can not fuck with her and come out winning. So when she wants to take you, she takes you.
  • All life is impermanent. We are all children of the Earth, and, at some time, she will take us back to herself again. We are continually arising from Mother Earth, being nurtured by her, and then returning to her. Like us, plants are born, live for a period of time, and then return to the Earth. When they decompose, they fertilize our gardens. Living vegetables and decomposing vegetables are part of the same reality. Without one, the other cannot be. After six months, compost becomes fresh vegetables again. Plants and the Earth rely on each other. Whether the Earth is fresh, beautiful, and green, or arid and parched depends on the plants. It also depends on us.
    • Thích Nhất Hạnh The World We Have : A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology (2008), Ch. 1 : The Bells of Mindfulness, p. 3
  • Our way of walking on the Earth has a great influence on animals and plants. We have killed so many animals and plants and destroyed their environments. Many are now extinct. In turn, our environment is now harming us. We are like sleepwalkers, not knowing what we are doing or where we are heading. Whether we can wake up or not depends on whether we can walk mindfully on our Mother Earth. The future of all life, including our own, depends on our mindful steps.
    • Thích Nhất Hạnh The World We Have : A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology (2008), Ch. 1 : The Bells of Mindfulness, p. 3
  • Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque revenit.
    • You can drive nature out with a pitchfork, she will nevertheless come back.
    • Horace (65-8 B.C.), Epistles I.X.24.
  • Die Natur verbirgt ihr Geheimnis durch die Erhabenheit ihres Wesens, aber nicht durch List.
    • Nature hides her secret because of her essential loftiness, but not by means of ruse.
    • Albert Einstein, as quoted in Subtle is the Lord — The Science and the Life of Albert Einstein (1982) by Abraham Pais
  • I have never imputed to Nature a purpose or a goal, or anything that could be understood as anthropomorphic.
    • Albert Einstein, as quoted in Albert Einstein: The Human Side (1979) by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffmann.
  • Nature, whom I used to be keen on, is too unfair.  She evokes plenty of high & exhausting feelings, and offers nothing in return.
    • E. M. Forster, Selected Letters: Letter 57, to Arthur Cole (7 July 1905).
  • Think of the earth as a mother. This is one earth. Don't be divided by thinking of yourselves as belonging to different countries. We belong to one earth. Proceed with this in mind. Look to the future with a vision of good deeds for the whole world, not just one country. Have great courage and patience - and be not afraid of water, fire or great storms - face them bravely.
  • In the name of Nature the enlightened Holbach calls for the defense of one's country not only against external enemies but against internal tyrants.  But what does he mean by "Nature"?  There is nothing outside her; she is one and all at once.  Man shall discover her laws, admire her inexhaustible energy, use his discoveries for his own happiness, and resign himself to his ignorance of her last, her ultimate causes which are impenetrable.  With his whole being man belongs to her.
    • Max Horkheimer, “Theism and Atheism” (1963), in Critique of Instrumental Reason (1974).
  • Nature, mother feared and wept for
    since the human family was born,
    marvel that cannot be praised,
    that bears and nurtures only to destroy,
    if dying young brings mortals pain,
    why let it come down
    on these blameless heads?
    And if good, then why is it unhappy,
    why make this leaving inconsolable,
    worse than any other woe,
    for those who live, as well as those who go?
    • Giacomo Leopardi, Sopra in basso relievo antico sepocrale (Bas-Relief On An Ancient Tomb). Translation by Jonathan Galassi. Canti: Poems (1835)
  • Acting on your best behaviour
    Turn your back on Mother Nature
    Everybody wants to rule the world
    • Tears for Fears, "Everybody Wants to Rule the World," Songs from the Big Chair (1985, written by Roland Orzabal, Ian Stanley, and Chris Hughes).
  • The true beauty of nature is her amplitude; she exists neither for nor because of us, and possesses a staying power that all our nuclear arsenals cannot threaten (much as we can easily destroy our puny selves).
  • Thus, I love nature primarily for the puzzles and intellectual delights that she offers to the first organ capable of such curious contemplation.
  • Beautiful destination
    What's it worth?
    Beautiful destination
    Goodbye, Mother Earth
  • Mother Earth is laying for you
    That's the debts you got to pay
  • Don't care how great you are
    And I don't care what you're worth
    'Cause when it all ends you got to
    Go back to Mother Earth
    • Memphis Slim and the House Rockers, "Mother Earth" (1951, written by Peter Chatman, a.k.a. Memphis Slim).
  • Mother Nature
    C'mon Mother Nature
    Taste as sweet as wine, sweet as wine
    Like Tahitian orchids baby
    Mother Nature's fine, ha!
    Woooh, yeah, yeah, yeah
    Mother Nature tastes so fine
    When two people love each other
    Ain't no stoppin' Mother Nature
    'Cause she tastes so fine
    Like Mama's wine
    Oh, Mother Nature, baby
    C'mon Tahitian orchids sweetly
    Makin' love so fine
    Mother Nature, Mother Nature, Mother Nature tastes so fine
    Ow, for you my love, my melancholy love
    Whoa, pours like Mother Nature, yeah, yeah
    Aw, c'mon Mother Nature, baby
  • Buying, selling
    Mother Earth
    White man's wisdom
    What's it worth?
    No touch for healing
    Head in the sand
    Your mother's bleeding
    At your own hand
  • I want her so bad
    Mother Nature has a hold on me
    I want her so bad
    Mother Nature, won't you let me be untied?
    'Cause it hurts my pride
    To be tossed off like the morning covers
    And crossed off, like her other lovers
    • Don McLean, "Mother Nature," bonus track on the 2003 re-release of the 1971 album American Pie.
  • Spirituality is also about challenge and disturbance, about pushing our edges and giving us the support we need to take great risks.  The Goddess is not just a light, happy maiden or a nurturing mother.  She is death as well as birth, dark as well as light, rage as well as compassion—and if we shy away from her fiercer embrace we undercut both her own power and our own growth.
    • Starhawk, Toward an Activist Spirituality (2003).
  • Much of what is written on the craft is biased in one way or another, so weed out what is useful to you and ignore the rest.  I see the next few years as being crucial in the transformation of our culture away from the patriarchal death cults and toward the love of life, of nature, of the female principle.  The craft is only one path among the many opening up for women, and many of us will blaze new trails as we explore the uncharted country of our own interiors.  The heritage, the culture, the knowledge of the ancient priestesses, healers, poets, singers, and seers were nearly lost, but a seed survived the flames that will blossom in a new age into thousands of flowers.  The long sleep of Mother Goddess is ended.  May She awaken in each of our hearts—Merry meet, merry part, and blessed be.
    • Starhawk, as quoted in Womanspirit Rising: A Feminist Reader in Religion (1979) by Carol P. Christ and Judith Plaskow.
  • Birds and butterflies
    Rivers and mountains she creates
    But you'll never know
    The next move she'll make
    You can try
    But it is useless to ask why
    Cannot control her
    She goes her own way

    She rules
    Until the end of time
    She gives and she takes
    She rules
    Until the end of time
    She goes her own way

    • Within Temptation, "Mother Earth," Mother Earth (2003, written by Robert Westerholt, Sharon den Adel, and Eikens Augustinus).
  • Mother Nature
    Go on and take your course
    And a-take me with you
    Hey, I wanna leave here, oh

    Mother Nature
    Take the chains off me,
    As long as I'm livin', livin'
    Hey, I wanna be free,

  • Let me stand naked in the sun
    Hiding from no one
  • Mother
    Mother Nature
    Come on and do your thing
    I want to start feeling, yeah
    All those good things you can bring
    • The Temptations, "Mother Nature," All Directions (1972, written by Nick Zesses and Dino Fekaris).
  • Mother Earth, voice of universe
    Mother Earth, oasis of life
    Mother Earth, the flame of universe
    Mother Earth, your tears of pain rain down on the world
  • And though
    You're struggling to get on track
    It pales somewhat to the fact
    That Mother Nature goes to heaven
    • a-ha, "Mother Nature goes to Heaven," Foot of the Mountain (2009, written by Paul Waaktaar-Savoy).
  • In the shadow of Mother Nature
    We find it hard to live our lives
    But we never chose the life She gave us
    And we don't need Her to survive
    • Hurts, "Mother Nature," B-side to the single Better Than Love (2010).

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

  • Nature's great law, and law of all men's minds?—
    To its own impulse every creature stirs;
    Live by thy light, and earth will live by hers!
  • To him who in the love of Nature holds
    Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
    A various language.
  • What Nature has writ with her lusty wit
    Is worded so wisely and kindly
    That whoever has dipped in her manuscript
    Must up and follow her blindly.
    Now the summer prime is her blithest rhyme
    In the being and the seeming,
    And they that have heard the overword
    Know life's a dream worth dreaming.
  • Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurrit.
    • You may turn nature out of doors with violence, but she will still return.
    • Horace, Epistles, I. 10. 24. ( Expelles in some versions).
  • Nunquam aliud Natura aliud Sapientia dicit.
    • Nature never says one thing, Wisdom another.
    • Juvenal, Satires (early 2nd century), XIV. 321.
  • And Nature, the old nurse, took
    The child upon her knee,
    Saying: Here is a story-book
    Thy Father has written for thee.

    Come, wander with me, she said,
    Into regions yet untrod;
    And read what is still unread
    In the manuscripts of God.

  • Nature with folded hands seemed there,
    Kneeling at her evening prayer!
  • O maternal earth which rocks the fallen leaf to sleep!
  • But on and up, where Nature's heart
    Beats strong amid the hills.
  • Wherefore did Nature pour her bounties forth
    With such a full and unwithdrawing hand,
    Covering the earth with odours, fruits, and flocks,
    Thronging the seas with spawn innumerable,
    But all to please and sate the curious taste?
  • And live like Nature's bastards, not her sons.
  • Into this wild abyss,
    The womb of Nature and perhaps her grave.
  • Accuse not Nature, she hath done her part;
    Do thou but thine!
  • Let us a little permit Nature to take her own way; she better understands her own affairs than we.
  • And Nature does require
    Her times of preservation, which perforce
    I, her frail son, amongst my brethren mortal,
    Must give my tendance to.
  • Yet neither spinnes, nor cards, ne cares nor fretts,
    But to her mother Nature all her care she letts.
  • For all that Nature by her mother-wit
    Could frame in earth.
    • Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene (1589-96), Book IV, Canto X, Stanza 21.
  • Once, when the days were ages,
    And the old Earth was young,
    The high gods and the sages
    From Nature's golden pages
    Her open secrets wrung.
  • Nature never did betray
    The heart that loved her.
  • I wonder if a sillier and more ignorant catachresis than "Mother Nature" was ever perpetrated? It is because Nature is ruthless, hideous, and cruel beyond belief that it was necessary to invent civilisation. One thinks of wild animals as savage, but the fiercest of them begins to look almost domesticated when one considers the viciousness required of a survivor in the sea; as for the insects, their lives are sustained only by intricate processes of fantastic horror. There is no conception more fallacious than the sense of cosiness implied by 'Mother Nature.' Each species must strive to survive, and that will do, by every means in its power, however foul—unless the instinct to survive is weakened by conflict with another instinct.
  • Such blessings Nature pours,
    O'erstock'd mankind enjoy but half her stores.
    In distant wilds, by human eyes unseen,
    She rears her flowers, and spreads her velvet green;
    Pure gurgling rills the lonely desert trace
    And waste their music on the savage race.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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