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John Muir (1838 – 1914)


Scottish born American environmentalist, naturalist, traveler, writer, and scientist.
John Muir
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.
Muir quotes
A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease. Every hidden cell is throbbing with music and life, every fiber thrilling like harp strings, while incense is ever flowing from the balsam bells and leaves. No wonder the hills and groves were God's first temples, and the more they are cut down and hewn into cathedrals and churches, the farther off and dimmer seems the Lord himself.
Muir
The forests of America, however slighted by man, must have been a great delight to God; for they were the best he ever planted.




Muir John quotes
Storms of every sort, torrents, earthquakes, cataclysms, "convulsions of nature," etc., however mysterious and lawless at first sight they may seem, are only harmonious notes in the song of creation, varied expressions of God's love.
Muir John
When I reached the [Yosemite] valley, all the rocks seemed talkative, and more lovable than ever. They are dear friends, and have warm blood gushing through their granite flesh; and I love them with a love intensified by long and close companionship. ... I ... bathed in the bright river, sauntered over the meadows, conversed with the domes, and played with the pines.
John Muir quotes
So extravagant is Nature with her choicest treasures, spending plant beauty as she spends sunshine, pouring it forth into land and sea, garden and desert. And so the beauty of lilies falls on angels and men, bears and squirrels, wolves and sheep, birds and bees,... .
John Muir
Looking eastward from the summit of Pacheco Pass one shining morning, a landscape was displayed that after all my wanderings still appears as the most beautiful I have ever beheld. At my feet lay the Great Central Valley of California, level and flowery, like a lake of pure sunshine, forty or fifty miles wide, five hundred miles long, one rich furred garden of yellow Compositae. And from the eastern boundary of this vast golden flower-bed rose the mighty Sierra, miles in height, and so gloriously colored and so radiant, it seemed not clothed with light but wholly composed of it, like the wall of some celestial city.... Then it seemed to me that the Sierra should be called, not the Nevada or Snowy Range, but the Range of Light. And after ten years of wandering and wondering in the heart of it, rejoicing in its glorious floods of light, the white beams of the morning streaming through the passes, the noonday radiance on the crystal rocks, the flush of the alpenglow, and the irised spray of countless waterfalls, it still seems above all others the Range of Light.
Muir John quotes
The United States government has always been proud of the welcome it has extended to good men of every nation, seeking freedom and homes and bread.
Muir
The mountains are calling and I must go.
Muir John
None of Nature's landscapes are ugly so long as they are wild.
John Muir
Nature is always lovely, invincible, glad, whatever is done and suffered by her creatures. All scars she heals, whether in rocks or water or sky or hearts.




John Muir quotes
These temple-destroyers, devotees of ravaging commercialism, seem to have a perfect contempt for Nature, and instead of lifting their eyes to the God of the mountains, lift them to the Almighty Dollar. Dam Hetch Hetchy! As well dam for water-tanks the people's cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man.
John Muir
Never have I met another man of such singleness of mind in his devotion to nature as Muir. He lived and moved and had his being as a devotee. ... Of himself he took little heed, but no zealous missionary ever went abroad to spread the gospel with his fervor in communicating a love of nature. And with him a love of nature meant an understanding of her laws. He sauntered over the mountains, claiming kinship with the rocks and growing things and gathering them all to his heart. He has told me that he found it necessary, in getting people to listen, to tell them stories such as his immortal tale of Stickeen, but the real hope in his heart was to awaken their interest so they would want to go to nature themselves and to delve into the mysteries of her ways. ... Every tree and flower, every bird and stone was to him the outward token of an invisible world in process of making.
Muir quotes
[Concerning the Hemlock Spruce, now called Mountain Hemlock:] I wish I had space to write more of the surpassing beauty of this favorite spruce. ... The deer love to lie down beneath its spreading branches; bright streams from the snow that is always near ripple through its groves, and bryanthus spreads precious carpets in its shade. But the best words only hint its charms. Come to the mountains and see.
Muir John
It has been said that trees are imperfect men, and seem to bemoan their imprisonment rooted in the ground. But they never seem so to me. I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do. They go wandering forth in all directions with every wind, going and coming like ourselves, traveling with us around the sun two million miles a day, and through space heaven knows how fast and far!
Muir John quotes
Fain would I describe the glories of those months in the ice-world the beautiful and terrible network of crevasses, the clustering pinnacles, the thousand streams ringing and gurgling in azure channels cut in the living body of the glacier, the glorious radiance of the sunbeams falling on crystal dale and hill, the rosy glow of the dawn and sunset, the march of the clouds on the mountains, and the mysterious splendor of the auroras when the nights grow long, etc., etc., etc. But this would require a volume, while here I have only space to add Go to Alaska, go and see.
John Muir
His simplicity was his power. He knew nature as no one else did... . His affection for the commonplace little pine-needle was as genuine as that for the most beautiful flower or the grandest tree, and the little flakes of snow and the little crumbs of granite were each to him real life, and each has a personality worthy of his wonderful mind's attention; and he talked and wrote of them as he did of the ouzel or the Douglas squirrel made real persons of them, and they talked and lived with him and were a part of his life as is our own flesh and blood. ... One cannot describe Mount Rainier, one cannot describe the Grand Canyon, one cannot describe his beloved Yosemite; humanity is silent in their presence. So it was with John Muir to all who knew him; so has his influence affected mankind, and so will his life and work impress generations to come. This most wonderful of men, lifted above death and time by his human sympathy no less than by his genius, will forever influence the world, and it will be the better for his example and his inspiration.
John Muir quotes
Man as he came from the hand of his Maker was poetic in both mind and body, but the gross heathenism of civilization has generally destroyed Nature, and poetry, and all that is spiritual.
John Muir
How terribly downright must seem the utterances of storms and earthquakes to those accustomed to the soft hypocrisies of society.
Muir John
Lie down among the pines for a while, then get to plain pure white love-work ... to help humanity and other mortals and the Lord.


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