quote for a holiday card.
November 6, 2007 12:34 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a quotation that would be appropriate to include on a holiday card in the vein of growth, renewal etc

I will be designing my own holiday card non-denominational/nonreligious and including one of these: matchstick garden in each. My holiday cards always have a seasonal quote about winter or some such (last year I used a quote from Denis Johnson's "Jesus' Son" -- "This beautiful chill, this sudden crispness, the tang of evergreens stabbing me"). Any ideas for a quotation similarly non-religious or denominational but still reverential and hopefully geared towards growth and renewal?
posted by Soulbee to Society & Culture (9 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I've used Genesis 37:19 (KJV) before: "Behold, this dreamer cometh." Always a good hope for the new year.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 12:56 PM on November 6, 2007

Not ideal, since it's tied to a religious figure, but this quote by Mother Teresa has always interested me:

"I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love."
posted by hermitosis at 1:33 PM on November 6, 2007

This isn't really about winter, but it is about renewal, and I've always liked it:

"We shall not cease from exploring, and at the end of our exploration, we will return to where we started, and know the place for the first time."
--T.S. Eliot
posted by autojack at 1:36 PM on November 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

I'm a huge fan of the poet Mary Oliver, and she has tons of poems about nature, plants, growth, etc. This site lets you browse a lot of her poems. Here's one, to give you an idea:

At Blackwater Pond

At Blackwater Pond the tossed waters have settled
after a night of rain.
I dip my cupped hands. I drink
a long time. It tastes
like stone, leaves, fire. It falls cold
into my body, waking the bones. I hear them
deep inside me, whispering
oh what is that beautiful thing
that just happened?
posted by selfmedicating at 1:53 PM on November 6, 2007 [4 favorites]

Another one of hers:

"On winter’s margin, see the small birds now
With half-forged memories come flocking home"

OK, gotta quit doing this...
posted by selfmedicating at 1:57 PM on November 6, 2007

"When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the of warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn't imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter."
posted by ALongDecember at 2:44 PM on November 6, 2007

Mary Oliver is genius. My favorite is "Wild Geese."

Or there's Walt Whitman, from "Song of Myself":

The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it,
And ceas'd the moment life appear'd.
All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses...

Or Wendell Berry, "The Peace of Wild Things":
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

posted by Bella Sebastian at 8:21 PM on November 6, 2007 [2 favorites]

One more. This is probably not appropriate for a holiday card, but I have always loved it for its straightforward prose and glorious symbolism:

"Yellow-bellied sea snakes have a pelagic lifestyle. They live at the sea surface and drift passively, ending up in drift lines where ocean currents meet, along with driftwood, seaweed and other floating debris. Yellow-bellied sea snakes have a curious way of shedding their skin. With no rough surface to rub against, they tie themselves in a knot and then crawl through it, leaving their skin behind." [From a book on Costa Rica, Wildlife of the National Parks and Reserves]
posted by Bella Sebastian at 8:25 PM on November 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

i am going to use the walt whitman quote. that is perfect to sum up my year.
posted by Soulbee at 4:59 AM on November 7, 2007

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