“All paths lie together in the hand of god like a web endlessly woven, and yours and mine are no greater or less than the beetle’s or the squirrel’s or the sparrow’s. All are held together.”

“The gazelles don’t have to run to the ends of the earth to escape a lion,” his father explained. “A single burst of speed will carry them beyond pursuit whether the lion makes its kill or not. If the lion makes its kill, further pursuit is unnecessary, and if it misses its kill, further pursuit is pointless, because the lion has no hope of outmatching the gazelles’ speed once they’re alerted. Either way, a single bound is as good as a thousand once the gazelles have evaded the lion’s first blow.”
“But if the lion misses its kill, won’t it stalk the gazelles one by one?” Abel asked.
“It may,” Adam replied. “But what of it? Do you think the gazelles should run to the ends of the earth every time a lion is in the neighborhood? What would they find there except another lion?”

“My gift to you is not the knowledge of making useful trash, for one may live well without such knowledge. But there is other knowledge without which no one can live well, and this is my gift to you. The name of this knowledge is wisdom. It is the gift my father gave to me and his father gave to him. Remember it for yourself and for your children.”

“The child looks at the sea that rolls endlessly across the plains and calls it grass. But this is not grass. This is deer and bison and sheep and cicadas and moles and rabbits. This handful of stalks here–this is a mouse. And the mouse, the ox, the gazelle, the goat, and the beetle all burn with the fire of grass. Grass is their mother and father, and their young are grass.”

“We make our journey in the company of others; the deer, the rabbit, the bison, and the quail walk before us, and the lion, the eagle, the wolf, the vulture, and the hyena walk behind us. All our paths lie together in the hand of god and none is wider than any other or favored above any other. The worm that creeps beneath your foot is making its journey across the hand of god as surely as you are.<P>”Wherever life moves, the hand of god is under it, so no step can be off the path. When you stumble on the mountainside, that is part of your path. When your child is sick and you turn aside from the hunt, that is part of your path. When you wander hungry in the desert and cannot find your way, you’re not lost, you’re on your path. When cunning fails and your prey eludes you, don’t curse your luck; this fruitless hunt is part of your path.”

“You need not be afraid of pitting your strength against anything, but a wise man doesn’t throw himself against the flowing tide, saying, ‘I will overpower it.’ But neither does he let the tide sweep him away, saying, ‘Oh, the gods want my life now!’ Instead he moves across the flow and finds the channel of retreat that the gods have left for him.”

“This is the meaning of the rites of initiation into adulthood: not that you have learned to be an adult, but that you must begin to learn. The day after your initiation, your thoughts will be the same as those of the day before, but you will nevertheless be accorded the rights of an adult and be expected to fulfill the obligations of an adult. And you will learn to cope with both in the same way you learned to be a hunter: by beginning.”

“Remember that your tracks are one strand of the web woven endlessly in the hand of god. They’re tied to those of the mouse in the field, the eagle on the mountain, the crab in its hold, the lizard beneath its rock. The leaf that falls to the ground a thousand miles away touches your life. The impress of your foot in the soil is felt through a thousand generations.”