“There is a religion in every thing around us – a calm and holy religion in the unbreathing things of Nature, which men would do well to imitate. It is a meek and blessed influence, stealing in as if it were unawares upon the heart; it comes quickly, and without excitement; it has no terror, no gloom, in its approaches; it does not rouse up the passions; it is untrammeled by the creeds and unshadowed by the superstitions of man.
It is fresh from the hands of its Author, glowing from the immediate presence of the Great Spirit which pervades and quickens it; it is written on the arched sky; it looks out from every star. It is on the sailing cloud and in the invisible wind; it is among the hills and valleys of the earth where the shrub less mountain-top pierces the thin atmosphere of eternal winter, or where the mighty forest fluctuates before the strong wind, with its dark waves of green foliage.
It is spread out like a legible language upon the broad face of the unsleeping ocean; it is the poetry of Nature. It is that which uplifts the spirit within us, until it is strong enough to outlook the shadows of our place of probation; which breaks, link after ink, the chain which binds us to materiality and which opens to our imagination, a world of spiritual beauty and holiness.”
–John Ruskin, 19th century poet and artist