Thoughts on well-being, sustainability and those things that constitute a good life beyond consumption.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Gold could simply be considered just one of over 100 elements in the periodic table—atomic number 79—to be exact.  We can describe its atomic structure, and its chemical and physical properties like any other chemical.  But for thousands of years, gold has been revered as much more than just a metallic element.  It has been associated with the sun, the gods, and with immortality.  For thousands of years it has been highly desired for its beauty and value and still continues to serve as a symbol of prosperity (in the traditional sense of the word).  Gold is mentioned by Homer and in the book of Genesis and is described on hieroglyphics dating back thousands of years B.C.  Around 1500 B.C., gold became the recognized standard medium of exchange for international trade, making Egypt a wealthy nation as large amounts had been found in regions along the Nile River.

The search for gold has played a significant role in world history – both in the discovery of new lands and, sadly, in horrific stories of exploitation of people and destruction of culture through slavery, brutal killings, and the melting down of antiquities to reclaim the prized element.  The desire to obtain the element was so strong, that humans even practiced alchemy with the hope that other (less valued) metals could be changed into gold.   

You can search the internet for quotes about gold; I include a few below that illustrate just how highly people value this element.

"Gold is a treasure, and he who possesses it does all he wishes to in this world, and succeeds in helping souls into paradise."  -- Christopher Columbus

"Gold is the soul of all civil life, that can resolve all things into itself, and turn itself into all things." -- Samuel Butler

"How rare is gold? If you could gather together all the gold mined in recorded history, melt it down, and pour it into one giant cube, it would measure only about eighteen yards across! That's all the gold owned by every government on earth, plus all the gold in private hands, all the gold in rings, necklaces, chains, and gold art. That's all the gold used in tooth fillings, in electronics, in coins and bars. It's everything that exists above ground now, or since man learned to extract the metal from the earth. All of it can fit into one block the size of a single house. It would weigh about 91,000 tons - less than the amount of steel made around the world in an hour. That's rare." -- Daniel M. Kehrer

In this search of quotes, I smiled when I read ones from a James Bond movie but then I found one that really caught my attention since it relates to why I thought of a blog on this topic in the first place.

“For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver.” -- Martin Luther

This time of year, gold can be found everywhere.  It is a form of gold that can be shared by everyone, won’t result in more atrocities, and its beauty can enrich us all.  The pictures below were from another one of my early morning fall walks and probably don’t capture the hues of gold as they appeared.  But hopefully, you can get out for a walk and find some gold wealth of your own!
The rising sun casts golden tones along a wooded path.

A bee on goldenrod

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