As soon as the torch went out the atmosphere of the forest intensified. As her eyes slowly became accustomed to the darkness she started to notice the outlines of canopies above them where trees were silhouetted against the pale moonlight.
The sounds around them became more noticeable; the shuffling of an animal through the undergrowth, the whistling of the wind through the trees, and now and then the cry of some creature being captured in the darkness.
As they sat quietly, the noises seemed to become louder still until both visitors felt absorbed into the forest world.
—Emily Arden, Lie to me: Deception: Book Two
I tell you once and for all—
in front of the angel pictures
on the wall, that I am not a host
to load-bearing ghosts or heady
entities, and if I was ever holy, I have fallen far
into the dense atmosphere of the living.
―Kristen Henderson, Drum Machine
On paper, being good sounds great but a lot depends on the atmosphere of the workplace or community we live in. We tend to become good or bad depending on the cues sent out within a particular space. If you work in a space where everyone seems to be quite nice then you’ll end up quite nice. If you enter a space where bullying, thieving and lying is fine you’ll become like that. More public displays of kindness or empathy would help everyone in their attempt to be kinder.
For millions of years, this world has been a great gift to nearly everything living on it, a planet whose atmosphere, temperature, air, water, seasons, and weather were precisely calibrated to allow us — the big us, including forests and oceans, species large and small — to flourish. (Or rather, it was we who were calibrated to its generous, even bounteous, terms.) And that gift is now being destroyed for the benefit of a few members of a single species.
Everyone carries an atmosphere about him. It may be healthful and invigorating, or it may be unwholesome and depressing. It may make a little spot of the world a sweeter, better, safer place to live in; or it may make it harder for those to live worthily and beautifully who dwell within its circle.
What I’ve always found interesting in gardens is looking at what people choose to plant there. What they put in. What they leave out. One small choice and then another, and soon there is a mood, an atmosphere, a series of limitations, a world.
The Abbey in the Oakwood, Caspar David Friedrich, 1808-1810
Are the days of winter sunshine just as sad for you, too? When it is misty, in the evenings, and I am out walking by myself, it seems to me that the rain is falling through my heart and causing it to crumble into ruins.