The Quote Garden

 I dig old books.

 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Deserts


The desert — beautiful, lonely, merciless. ~Creek Stewart, SOS: How to Survive, 2017

What draws us into the desert is the search for something intimate in the remote. ~Edward Abbey

A mesa loomed up, spare and craggy. It was striped with horizontal layers: a vein of crimson, a seam of granite, a stratum of chalk. ~Abby Geni, The Wildlands, 2018

I'm never, ever happier than when I'm in the desert. ~Jeremy Clarkson, The Grand Tour, "The Beach (Buggy) Boys," 2016  [S1, E7]

I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams… ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

If you would know the world go into a desert and study your own heart. ~Austin O'Malley (1858–1932), Thoughts of a Recluse, 1898

My favorite color… the seam of a desert horizon. ~Eileen R. Tabios

All I think about sometimes is desert. Mountains or woods will do, but where I want to be at any given moment, if you catch me staring off, is where boulders are warm to the touch, where rain rarely falls and the air feels like it's being played on the highest, tightest string of a violin, as if you could barely squeeze a drop of water from it. Some people dream in color. I dream in canyons. ~Craig Childs, March 2019, Bean Tree Farm, Tucson Mountains, Arizona, Introduction to Virga & Bone: Essays from Dry Places, 2019

The Desert is—
A brown maiden
Basking in the sun.
~Ruth E. Meakin (b.1888), "April's Secret"

Nothing stood between us and the vibrant desert. Staring at the unlimited space fanned out before me, I felt magnified and ethereal, yet grounded... I'd forgotten how enlivening it could feel, seeing clearly and far. Aridity frees light. It also unleashes grandeur... Desert beauty was "sublime" in the way that the romantic poets had used the word — not peaceful dales but rugged mountain faces, not reassuring but daunting nature, the earth's skin and haunches, its spines and angles arching prehistorically in sunlight. ~Julene Bair, The Ogallala Road: A Memoir of Love and Reckoning, 2014

It was the farthest she had ever been from home, not only in miles but in feeling. The vastness of the desert frightened her. Everything looked too far away, even the cloudless sky. There was nowhere you could hide in such emptiness. ~James Carlos Blake, The Rules of Wolfe: A Border Noir, 2013

Our desert... bristles with sharp points. Its plant forms are grotesque. Its colors are not bright. It has a harsh appearance that it has acquired by virtue of centuries of heat and aridity. Life is not easy on the desert. All living things therein simply to survive have had to develop rough exteriors and there is little graciousness in that very roughness. ~Raymond Carlson, "The Happy Land," Arizona Highways, March 1953,

Content can soothe, where e'er by fortune placed,
Can rear a garden in a desert waste.
~Henry Kirke White (1785–1806), "Clifton Grove"

In the empire of desert, water is the king and shadow is the queen. ~Mehmet Murat İldan

The desert is a place of bones, where the innards are turned out... ~Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration: Old Wisdom for a New World, 2010

What makes the desert beautiful... is that somewhere it hides a well… ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

Desert — a piece of Earth that God forgot to water. ~Terri Guillemets, 1996

"Sand," Ragen explained. "Nothing but sand for miles in every direction. No food nor water but what you carry, and nothing to shade you from the scorching sun."
"And people live there?" Arlen asked.
"Oh, yes," Ragen said.
~Peter V. Brett, The Warded Man, 2009

Great big yellow mule-ear sunflowers are blooming along the dirt road... scattered more thinly over the rest of the desert are the others: yellow borage, Indian paintbrush, scarlet penstemon, skyrocket gilia, prickly pear, hedgehog cactus, purple locoweed, the coral-red globemallow, dockweed, sand verbena. Loveliest of all, however... with a fragrance like that of orange blossoms, is the cliffrose... ~Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire, 1968

This is a storytelling landscape. ~Craig Childs, The Way Out: A True Story of Ruin and Survival, 2004  [Southern Utah —tg]

The desert is a scorpion's tale of stings and survival. ~Terri Guillemets

"Where are the people?" The little prince finally resumed the conversation. "It's a little lonely in the desert…" "It's also lonely with people," said the snake. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

My dear friend:  Three or four months on the edge of the desert, all alone — how I envy you; and again, how I thank Heaven I am not in a similar position. ~Jack London, 1899

The desert tells a different story every time one ventures on it… ~Robert Edison Fulton, Jr., One Man Caravan, 1937

God takes everyone he loves through a desert. It is his cure for our wandering hearts, restlessly searching for a new Eden. ~Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting With God In A Distracting World, 2009

Sometimes you need to spend time in an empty desert to discover how full your soul is. ~Terri Guillemets

Some say that true love is a mirage; seek it anyway, for all else is surely desert. ~Robert Brault,

You cannot blame the Sahara alone for the troubles. But you should also not see the desert simply as some faraway place of little rain. There are many forms of thirst. ~William Langewiesche, Sahara Unveiled: A Journey Across the Desert, 1996

But let not our thoughts be only of happiness. For does not the old Arab proverb — "all sunshine makes a desert" — faithfully remind us that the cloud and the storm are likewise needed for the most complete and satisfactory results? ~William P. Finney, 1907

A scream into the desert returns the echo of your own soul. ~Terri Guillemets

The best gift of the desert is God's presence. ~Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting With God In A Distracting World, 2009

Throughout history, the desert has been a place of trial, penance, and hard-won revelation. God lives in the desert. But Satan does, too. ~Jon Talton, Cactus Heart, 2007

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