As most of us know, a pearl is formed by the buildup of a substance naturally secreted within an oyster, called nacre, around a grain of sand or other irritant. Sometimes it's hard to imagine such a beautiful, smooth, satiny treasure coming from an abrasive substance irritating a poor oyster! But when you look at a pearl in the context of the phrase "pearls of wisdom," it begins to make sense, for it is usually from the ups and downs, joys and sorrows of everyday life that we gain such intangible, but very real, treasures as wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and insight.
All through the ages, people have sought wisdom, valuing it over riches and beauty. Poets have extolled it in verse both humble and grand, troubadours have sung of it, philosophers have expounded upon it, and people from all walks of life have sought it. Wisdom can help us to choose the right path, to enjoy the simplest things in life, and to understand ourselves and those we care about.
Appreciating the simple joys and beauties of life is one of our favorite pastimes here at Grace's Garden, so it is in that spirit that we bring you a sampling of the many thoughts that have been recorded, throughout the centuries, about wisdom -- or just words of wisdom about life, happiness, and other good things in our lives. From time to time, this page will be updated with new offerings, and each time we'll be featuring little tidbits on a different subject or theme. But for now, we thought we'd just start out with a few general pearls of wisdom. It is our hope that you will enjoy these treasures, created over time, much like the satiny gems formed in the sea.
May I a small house and large garden have;
When all is done and said, in the end thus shall you find,
'Tis the mind that makes the body rich....
Thus sometimes hath the brightest day a cloud;
Gratitude is the memory of the heart. --J. B. Massieu, Letter to the Abbe´ Sicard.
Joy delights in joy. --William Shakespeare: Sonnet 8.
GRACE'S FAVORITE MUSIC: Reflective Music:
Sir Edward Elgar: Enigma Variations. Sospiri.
Ralph Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending.
George Friderich Handel: Largo: Ombra mai fu (from "Xerxes").
Johann Sebastian Bach: Arioso (from Cantata Number 156).
This above all, to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
--William Shakespeare, Hamlet; Act I, scene iii
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