In 1861 Charles Darwin wrote a letter to Charles Lyell, a Scottish geologist, who besides his many scientific contributions, also advocated the use of geological surveys and explained the cause of earthquakes. Darwin, of course, brought us the first version of the theory of evolution, fundamentally altering the entire field of biology and irrevocably influencing literature, politics, and philosophy. History sees these two men as giants.
The letter itself talks about glacier movement and its geological consequences, and then at the end, Darwin includes the following paragraph.
This quote is often cited, but the letter isn’t over. There is one more paragraph.
That would be John Murray, a London publishing house that brought us Jane Austen, Lord Byron, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle among many others. The little book Darwin was writing? The Various Contrivances by which British and Foreign Orchids are Fertilized by Insects. It is a milestone scientific work that examines how flowers evolved their structure and color to attract insect cross-pollinators. It was a revolutionary publication that led to an explosion of research by other naturalists and is still in print today. You can read more about it in this Wikipedia article.
So if you are feeling poorly and stupid today and hate everyone and everything, especially that “little” project you are working on, hang in there. You are not alone.
1st to comment?
Thank you for posting something almost every day of this week! Love your posts! Its been such a terrible week, I wish I could skip to Friday. :sigh:
This is the best thing. Thank you for this little uplifting moment!
Colleen C. says
I had to go to Walmart yesterday and when I got back in my car I yelled, “I hate people!”
Courtney Mincy says
I’m a vendor in Walmart and scream “I hate people!” nearly every day when I leave! ????
Why I do not shop at Walmart
I am struggling today and feeling poorly with one of the many viruses that seem to be going around. I appreciate that Darwin still managed to end his letter with such kindness even though he was clearly having a bad day.
You guys are gems and share the best things. Thank you for the encouragement. Just what I needed today.
Proud Bookworm says
Love this. Thank you!
Thank you for the post, today I’ve been out of sorts, irritable, snapping and generally feeling like I’m rubbish at everything but I too realised that low days like these are often needed to help reset your brain and allow you to realise that tomorrow will be a better day and that even at your lowest you can still do great things, even if you only do one kind thing ❤️ ???? xx
Chris V says
It’s always the little things that get us through a day where we hate everything and everyone, isn’t it?
Pictures of puppies and kittens, a new type of tea, a favorite cookie, yummy chocolate, a warm blanket, a good book, a snippet, or just someone writing about cleaning out a closet. The smallest of gifts. ????
Moderator R says
Ah, I needed this today. Thanks for sharing! ????
Thank you so much I needed this so much. Love you all ❤️❤️
thank you I too needed this today – mid term after work (feel like I am not prepared) kitty is connected to the change in weather and is depressed, I feel overwhelmed with life and work and hate everyone and people at work seem to suck more but grateful it is getting lighter each day (see can reframe – or change colour to attract insects).
Carina Paredes says
thanks for the inspiration.
Cheryl M says
Thank you for this gem. I just wish my “little” contrivances might be so well received and so memorable.
I so needed this today. Thank you!
It’s a gray sort of day here in the Midwest. I am waiting to see if the drizzling rain turns to ice and sleet or just snow. Snow would be better. I have been cutting out pieces of fabric to make 36 inch quilt kits for 3 days now and I Hates them, I Hates them. However, when I need an emergency baby shower gift I will be glad I can pull out the appropriate baggie and can whip one out in a day or so. So far , I have a Flower Fairy quilt kit, a Little Golden Book one, a Tawney Scrawny Lion kit, and a light house quilt kit.
Em Deel says
Needed this. Thank you.
Tried to show a quilt from an earlier year and somehow posted twice. Oops. I’m having pink fabric cravings. It happens when the weather is gray in late winter.
Timely and interesting. Love the facts you give us. In your blog and books.
When I first bought my home there was a very grumpy old lady next door. I could not do anything that pleased her. I started praying ‘please Lord, do not let me become a grumpy old lady like her’
Now I am the old lady, and when I get irritated I remember that prayer, and reassess my response and try to change my attitude.
We all have those days!
Claudia C says
Lolololol….I had an old lady too! But I said “I can’t wait until I’m an old lady and can be cantankerous too.”
Now I’m an old lady and I find it’s just too much energy expended to be so negative. So I’m still my smiling self.
I think you have to be a grumpy young person to be a grumpy old person.
Let’s keep being Sensational Seniors and enjoying the GENIUS of House Andrews!
Maybe I’ll switch to doll stuff. It is starting to get lighter out. I still feel like Eyore though.
There‘s nothing wrong with, Eyore! He was always my favorite, though I do love all the residents of their woods. ???????????????? We‘re having a major snowstorm today, potentially up to 11“ of snow with 40 mph wind gusts…..
My deck is an ice rink and the sun is brightly shining! Tomorrow everything will melt. I hope your snowstorm wasn’t too heavy. I think I will stay in and work with lace.
Mary Beth says
Thank you. Hubby and I needed a smile.
Carla G says
It was a whopping 8 degrees this morning as I was shoveling.
Good thing I like shoveling! Hate vacuuming, but I have done my work today…. And now I am rewarded with a trip to San Antonio for my Aunt’s 89th Birthday party… so things are looking up.
Love this reminder that while there is snow and cold, the sun will always come out!
Thank you, I was having that day, the day I planned to end my 32 year career and make sandwiches at WAWA. not really but it felt that way. Also my husband says I’m bad st taking directions.
Patricia Schlorke says
Those are the days when I want to pull the covers up over my head and forget the world exists.
I still try to be polite to people when I go out since it’s not their fault I’m having a not so great day. 🙂
Thank you for this – it was much needed.
Andreea Petrescu says
Thank you, hope y’all are hanging in there as well
That’s too funny. Some days are definitely better than others, and I’ve had a few of the others this week. Not the whole day, just the portions where I have time to think too much. I’m going to work on plans for projects now because looking behind me is not helping. The regional orchid show is coming up in a few weeks and I will be chuckling to myself as I tour it. Thanks for sharing that.
oh I am in the frame of mind where I’m saying to myself, “If you contradict me, the subject matter expert, one more time, I will beat you with my laptop.” I had to take a quiet moment with my eyes closed and practice some deep breathing on this one. It’s a good thing I’m WFH today, and I’m getting a 3 day weekend. Now breathe in…. aaaand out.
Another delightful anecdote to make your readers smile. So many times you bring a little joy into people’s lives. Thank you. Xx
B McNichol says
Thanks, I needed that.
This really resonated with me today. I have been so busy at work but I feel that everything I’m doing is irrelevant fluff. Thank you HA
This was for me. Seriously. How did you know?!
This was literally the post right before this one on fb. I had to scroll back quickly because I thought maybe I was reading it incorrectly. ????
Moderator R says
It’s a famous quote ????.
Eleanor W. says
“…a sad little potato. ” I love that description! It’s just how I feel when I realize I’m resentful, being an under-appreciated volunteer taking on too much. Now I can laugh at that picture in my head and work to reframe the situation or – better yet – stand up for myself and ask for help.
If all else fails, I lose myself in a HA book or spend a couple of hours quilling.
Thank you, I needed that today. This is EXACTLY how my final project is going.
“very stupid & hate everybody & everything. One lives only to make blunders.”
“I hate them worse than everything so farewell & in a sweet frame of mind”
My loathing for this assignment is unfathomable.
Megan H says
That is the second reference to this quote I have heard this week so I’m going to assume the universe would like me to pay attention. Thank you!
Neat! I almost bought an orchid about an hour ago but it wasn’t exotic enough and the seedling room will be full soon anyway
Thank you. I needed this. It’s been a week of going through evidence and reliving trauma for a court case and I’m spent. This helps. ????
Sounds like there are a lot of people on here who could use a break and a nice surprise. Jessie Mihalik is doing a short serial on her website, so far there are two chapters out and it’s a really fun read! https://www.jessiemihalik.com/story/books-broadswords/
Oooooh, thanks for the heads up!
Patricia Schlorke says
It’s a great read! Can’t wait to read the next chapter to find out what happens to the knight. ????
oooo I’ll check it out! Thanks for the link!
Super cute story! Thanks!
Valerie in CA says
Feeling poorly ????Allergies
Darned wind and pollen
I live in New Zealand and working House and Contents claims. We have had 3 major weather events one after the other and most of the North Island is in ruins. I am helping with claims for people who have lost everything and it is very emotionally draining.
Not quite hating everyone but do feel poorly and stupid.
that is my pity party and hope everyone else is doing ok.
I read about the storms and then the earthquake! I am so sorry. Sending good thoughts from the US West Coast. I have very fond memories of visiting both islands on my honeymoon. Are there any relief funds that can help those who lost everything?
Moderator R says
You are doing such important work, Dallas! Wishing you all the strength!
Patricia Schlorke says
Courage BDH member. I read about the cyclone, flooding, and the earthquake that hit. Keep up the important work you do. Stay safe!
It’s ok to feel that way so long it doesn’t take over your daily life. Hugs.
So sorry to hear about this. Wishing you all the positive energy.
Ms Blaise says
There is another NZ connection here in that John Murray was married to Katherine Mansfield.
Sending you strength and appreciation. I recently had to make an insurance claim for a major loss (though not as major as a home) and it was such an enormous gift that the person who handled my claim was kind and sympathetic and treated me like a human being. I’m sure the people you are working with appreciate you very much.
Kelly Jacobs says
I’m sorry you’re not feeling well.
Best wishes for a swift recovery.
Second time I’ve seen this referenced today, and I still find it comforting. I have a lot on my to-do list and am recovering from a norovirus. I am taking rests between my baby steps today.
I loved studying biology and marine biology while in school. It’s fascinating.
The next time I’m having one of those days I’ll try to take a breath and remind myself 8f this quote- thank you for sharing.
He struggled over barnacles too which eventually helped strengthen his theory of natural selection. Yay, Darwin!
So very cool! Thanks!
Kat M. says
This helps. Like, a lot.
I’m student teaching. My instructor came in to observe me with my kiddos today, and it…it could have gone better.
Been there! If your instructor is realistic, it probably went better than you think.
I really needed this post today.
I’ve had the flu all week with a super high fever and have just felt like crap. That means that I missed work, and college teachers do not have substitutes called in to replace them.
I have had to either impose on colleagues or cancel classes for three days. I definitely felt poorly and stupid about that.
Hope you feel better soon. The flu is a major hassle. Imposing on others when we’re sick should not feel nearly as bad as it does.
Lara S. says
What a beautiful thing to say. Thank you for saying it (well for bringing what he said to us and giving it context).
This is awesome. I said today at work “I hate everything”. Being overworked and covering for unfilled positions will get you down.
Well, last night I got half way through a short story even though I totally lost interest 10 pages in and thought “What is wrong with me?” Now I think it isn’t me.
When did I start finding flawless irresistible heroes and intrepid but unresisting heroines boring? I blame House Andrews, and Grace Draven, and Patty Briggs, et al ….
Interesting. That posted before my final edit, but stayed in the comment box. Mod R can you delete the first version?
Saw Ruby Fever got listed for the Fantasy Romance category on Swoon! Congrats!!
people can vote thru tomorrow.
One of my favorite quotes ever
Thank you guys…
I really needed to read this today.
In a sweet frame of mind, I am ever yours.
Oh wow! I needed that today! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Barbara Swanson says
What a great reminder. Thank you!
Sara B. says
I love these insights into your interests and thinking. I remember in one of the personal bios that I read somewhere, you were going to be “a scientist”, and your love of science, and respect for those giants who went before us shows.
Oh, this is perfect! I wish I had seen it around 10am instead of now (7pm local). But I did hang in, got my work work done, got my home work done, got mom’s taxes done. I’m done! And of course my reward – checking in on HA and celebrating my BDHness.
It’s not just Mercury in retrograde, the whole solar system seems to be!
Hugs to all who need them!!
So much much love for you! This is exactly what I needed to hear.
I’m applying to publish in a knitting magazine, and right now my brain wants to write anything else! The knitting charts are somewhat disagreeable, too. Time to draw schematics….
Good luck with it, Em! I enjoy reading knitting magazines; so many of the projects are beyond my current skills, but they give me something to strive towards.
That….was actually surprisingly motivating. Thank you, lmao.
Thank you, I am having one of those days as well. And what a beautiful orchid photo, now I want to skip work and paint orchids.
What a kind and uplifting post on a friday. Hugs to you all.
I am writing an academic paper, and this post just saved my life because I HATE writing right now.
Thank you for this! It is just what I needed to see today.
What a lovely post. Thank you ????
Charles’ birthday was on the 13th. I studied his history in college. (among other things)
Thank you, that really cheers me up – I’ll remember that the next time I feel like that!
What an interesting story. Really resonates I bet!
Bill G says
A lovely thought.
Thank you. this was just what I needed to read this morning before logging into work. ????
This is a beautiful piece & thought. Thank you!
Ms. Kim says
Thank you so much.
Thanks! No one knows the future impact of what they do daily. Not even Darwin. The perspective is truly helpful.
Susan Garza says
Feels seen, not crying, you’re crying.
Kimberly Campbell says
My day started out with the head thrown back Snoopy wail. Then I read this Blog. Bahahahaha!! Hilarious!!!!!!! I’ll remember this when tackling future projects. Warmest regards. Kimberly 🙂
OMG, thank you for this, and it couldn’t be more perfectly timed for me! Thank you for all your blogging, it continues to be a bright spot in my life (even if it’s not such a great day for you :).
This was definitely me yesterday.
Today I am seeing all I have gotten done already regarding four death’s of family I have been through this past year and feeling a bit better as I look to the next steps in my sister’s end of life arrangements.
Thanks for the post.
So sorry, Charlie. Internet hugs to you.
That really had a lot of meaning for me. I cut and pasted it onto my FaceBook page. Thank you
Elaine Cohoon Miller says
I love this so much. I forwarded it to my writing sub cohort. We have all recently turned our draft manuscripts to our mentor for developmental edit and are awaiting responses. A time that’s particularly likely to leave us feeling poorly and stupid. Thanks so much for this perspective on that.
Wow… I really needed to read that today. Thank you guys for all that you share with us!
Kat in NJ says
Thank you, I really, really needed this. It’s yucky and rainy (not that I mind rain at all, but it still makes it sort of gloomy) and I’m in a grumbly mood for no good reason, so this helped. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. ????
I absolutely love this and have shared it with my work group.
Thank you for this gem 🙂
I am feeling poorly and stupid today as I work on my thesis, and this provided some much-needed perspective.
Pam Stanner says
Thank you for this-so very much. I am organizing a Healing Touch for Animals event for tomorrow and I was just thinking- why the heck does it seem like I put out so much energy to help others, and it does not seem to make a difference. I sat down to drink a cup of tea and your blog popped up on my screen. I was feeling very disgruntled and then I read your blog. BOOM. Put me right back in the correct head space. We never know what “ripples” we are sending out into the world with the work we do. After all, isn’t this why we are here on this earth?
What a wonderful post! I feel better already. Thank you.
Thank you for your conversations. A timely word on an interesting fact, observation or information enlivens my poorly feelings caused by being stuck on stupid.
Thank you. I love this post
Johanna J says
Loved this (what a great quote and more). Thanks!
Melisa M. says
Thank you 🙂
I needed this. Thank you!
This is absolutely perfect timing.
Steve L says
Very interesting. Such a clever mind liked to express himself it would seem
Liv A. says
I cannot express how much this post resonated with me today. I’m going to send it to a few friends I think will feel the same.
Don’t need to be part of the BDH to vibe with this! Thank you for sharing.
Makes this member of the BDH wonder what project you’re working on making you feel poorly.
This post leads me to speculate that the strange woman who came out of the Penderton Woods ( in the except from Magic Claims ) shares characteristics with the South American Catasetum. Perhaps “she” looks weird cause she’s a mobile plant/ plant part. Perhaps the “brown boulder” is a giant pollen ball. Of course, the flaw in those perhaps is why would the pollen kill the hosts? Plants usually want the pollen to be disbursed and a dead human host would just be buried. Perhaps the tribute people are needed in some part of the life cycle of some huge magic plant with gigantic pollen balls.
Leslie Sexton says
???????? At least we are in very good company. I must remember that for future use
I was feeling very stupid and poorly.. well, til I hear this by Colm.. the Hobbit’s Drinking song.. then I perked right up. (Might have been to do with all that beer, LOL)… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xVMqM7OzcI
Love this. Thank you for educating the BDH, as always!
And now I am about to go down the rabbit hole that is Wikipedia…but at least it’s an educational rabbit hole!
I love this so much I could cry…
A gem of a post, thank you.