Literature Circle

Favorite River Quotes (2016-17)

Anyone who takes the time and effort to understand, to respect, and to love the James River will be rewarded a thousand times” – David Ryan, The Fall of the James.

“Wheresoever we landed upon this river we saw the goodliest woods, as beech, oak, cedar, cypress, walnuts, sassafras . . . and all the grounds bespread with many sweet and delicate flower of divers color and kinds” – Capt. John Smith, 1607 describing the James River at Richmond

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” – Heraclitus

“There are many ways to salvation, and one of them is to follow a river.” — David Brower

Ideas, like large rivers, never have just one source.” – Willy Ley

I gave my heart to the mountains the moment I stood beside this river with its spray in my face and watched it thunder into foam, smooth to green glass over sunken rocks, shatter to foam again…It was rare and comforting to waken late and hear the undiminished shouting of the water in the night. And at sun up it was still there, powerful and incessant, with the slant sun tangled in its rainbow spray, the grass blue with wetness, and the air heady as ether and scented with campfire smoke. By such a river it is impossible to believe that one will ever be tired or old. Every sense applauds it. Taste it, feel its chill on the teeth: it is purity absolute. Watch its racing current, its steady renewal of force: it is transient and eternal. And listen again to its sounds: get far enough away so that the sound of falling tons of water does not stun the ears, and hear how much is going on underneath—a whole symphony of smaller sounds, hiss and splash and gurgle, the small talk of side channels, the whisper of blown and scattered spray gathering itself and beginning to flow again, secret and irresistible, among the wet rocks.” -Wallace Stegner

Leave it as it is . . . The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it.”  – Theodore Roosevelt

Rivers are more then just conduits of water. They are the blue arteries of the earth.” – Sandra Postel and Brian Richter

Never test the depth of a river with both feet.”- Warren Buffet

Like a river flows surely to the sea, darling, so it goes, some things were meant to be.” -Elvis Presley

Who looks upon a river in a meditative hour, and is not reminded of the flux of all things? Throw a stone into the stream, and the circles that propagate themselves are the beautiful type of all influence.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but bece of its persistence.” — Jim Watkins

Rivers know this: There is no hurry. We shall get there someday.” — A. A. Milne

As symbols of purity, renewal, timelessness, and healing, rivers have shaped human spirituality like few other features of the natural world.” – Sandra Postel and Brian Richter

Language, numbers, and even metaphors serve for what they are, partial records of what we have seen at different times and places that show how we keep taming our rivers with words. But beyond that there is time and silence – and the inexplicable spirit of the river.”- Ann Woodlief.


Reading Circle (2012-13)

The goal of the literature circle is twofold: 1) To enhance your academic experience throught readings that introduce interesting and relevant ideas,  2) To enhance your community experience by learning about each other via personal stories, free expression of ideas, having fun, and nomnoms. Discussions should be open and relaxed. Participation is expected, but don’t feel like you have to speak a lot for the sake of saying something. Please also remember that it’s everyone’s responsibility to make others feel comfortable.


1/22/12- Selections from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

1/29/12- Selections from Into the Wild

2/19/12- 12 x 12 Chapters 1, 4, 5, 6, 12,

2/26/12- 12 x 12 Chapters 13, 15, 16, 21

3/25/12- Grizzly Man article and movie

3/29/12 – Guest readings from The Forest Unseen by David Haskill

4/8/12- Review, synthesis, creative project

Some Parting Thoughts:

Carolyn Dombrowski

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” –John Muir


Make ready your pack

Man is a strand in the web

Tread lightly, go far


Caroline Hildebrand

“Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.”
-Chris McCandless, Into the Wild


My journeys in the wilderness

have been unpredictable.

One cannot fathom beforehand

the adventures that the wild has to offer

until you are placed right within its core.

Time and time again I go into the wild

but none of the times are the same,

or similar,

or even remotely alike whatsoever.

The only thing they have in common

is that they bring my soul closer to the truth of my being:

what I am really here to do

and where I am headed.

Why are people drawn to the wild

while others turn from it?

I think it is being face-to-face with raw truth

unearthed by the wilderness

that both attracts and frightens all people.

The true beauty in appreciating wilderness

is being able to experience both of these feelings

at the exact same time.


Mark Massaro

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

-Margaret Mead , US anthropologist & popularizer of anthropology (1901 – 1978)


The Earth Lodge:

Where wetlands and watersheds wash away worries,

or rather channel them into action.

Where friends become family and tell stories,

 and come together over one unending attraction.

Where we learn to love the planet that feeds us,

and enjoy its beauty for a while.

Where grapes and iced tea are a must,

and always, always- a smile.

Where we don’t view humans and nature as two,

but rather as one.

Where we want you,

to come in and join the fun.


Shannon Rollins

“Every tale untold is a new world born in the spaces in between.”

Is cracking the blackened shell of a burnt marshmallow
To find the center still soft and white and sweet



Erin Fitzmaurice

“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”

-Ashley Smith


You live

You love

You dream

You hope

You can travel the world

You can live in your dream house

You can find your one true love

You can be who you want to be

Just be you

Just be happy



Michael Wormald

It’s a sketchbook in a digital age.

It’s picture of a fleeting image.

It’s a secret magic world,

Gone past and now behind.

All I want to do is turn around.

It’s the future in a wine bottle.

It’s the flow of a mighty river.

Some things change,

Others stay the same.

And all I want to do is turn around.

But I don’t want to be left behind,

In an unfinished caricature,

In the bottom of a bottle,

In a passing moment gone.

“I looked for the answer to my question. But reason could not give me an answer. Reason is immeasurable with the question. Life itself has given me the answer, in my knowledge of what is good and bad. And that knowledge I did not acquire in any way; it was given to me as to everybody, given because I could not take it form anywhere.”


Phoebe Krumich

Tea Lodge

Earth Lodge is the place to boil yourself down.

Pour whatever you are into the kettle.

Swash and splash, whirlpool and spill,

But steep yourself in lodge life.

Sweeten with things felt down deep

In the granular sugar of the soul—

From the depths of what was once individual,

Now something of scalding,

Body and mind-changing significance.

“Few people know how to take a walk. The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humor, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence and nothing too much.”

—   Ralph Waldo Emerson

Celeste Reppond

“Now this is the Law of the jungle- as old and as true as the sky;

And the wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the wolf that breaks it may die.

As the creeper that girdles the tree trunk, the law runneth forward and back-

For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.”

-Rudyard Kipling

Potted plants

Growing piles of recycling

Failed composting measures

Days without turning on the light

So goes suite 408


Doing life

Learning more from each other

Than could have ever been imagined

So goes suite 408


C.J. Smith

“All things change, nothing is extinguished. There is nothing in the whole world, which is permanent. Everything flows onward; all things are brought into being with a changing nature; the ages themselves glide by in constant movement.”  – Ovid


A river flows on.

No stream is ever the same,

But they evoke familiar emotions.

A river flows on

With a constant murmur

That drowns woes

And uplifts the spirit.

A river flows on

Regardless of diversion.

It cannot be extinguished

And will outlast those

Who believe

They can change it.








Josh Pickell

Gazelle is no match
the Hunter prowls
Makes a catch

Triumphant growl

“I get my best ideas in a thunderstorm. I have the power and majesty
of nature on my side.” -Ralph Steadman


Kelin Kruithoff

Oh Lodge of Lodges

Sitting in the dim light,

A calming atmosphere warms.

The family that sleeps

In interests of nature

And with ever open doors;

They own the house.

Those days of days,

Where tunnels of love

Are sung at uneven pitch

And solid rock fills the brainwaves.

Driving to nowhere

And dancing the night away.

2nd, 3rd, 2nd.

An even thrill of flame and white noise

The chatter of lodgers

And chatter of otters.




“I’d go off the newsstands in a week if they printed the real truth.”

-Bob Dylan

Adrienne Schmidt

“The mockingbird took a single step into the air and dropped. His wings were still folded against his sides as though he were singing from a limb and not falling, accelerating thirty-two feet per second per second, through empty air. Just a breath before he would have been dashed to the ground, he unfurled his wings with exact, deliberate care, revealing the broad bars of white, spread his elegant, white-banded tail, and so floated onto the grass. I had just rounded a corner when his insouciant step caught my eye; there was no one else in sight. The fact of his free fall was like the old philosophical conundrum about the tree that falls in the forest. The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” – Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek



Speech to the Young.

Speech to the Progress-Toward.

Say to them,

say to the down-keepers,

the sun-slappers,

the self-soilers,

the harmony-hushers,


“Even if you are not ready for day

it cannot always be night.”

You will be right.

For that is the hard home-run.


Live not for battles won.

Live not for the-end-of-the-song.

Live in the along.


— Gwendolyn Brooks