Monday, October 5, 2009

Wisdom from John Muir

John Muir, Platinum Print, c. 1910, National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC

I admire John Muir. Always have. Watching Ken Burns' "National Parks" documentary made me feel as if I was with Muir in the Sierras, in Yosemite and Alaska, in the West...taking time to stop alongside wildflowers and inquire about a particular flower's day...breathing in the air that hugs old growth pine...rambling along trails and off trails, led by a boundless enthusiasm for all that IS.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from him. Enjoy.

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."

"There is in some minds a tendency toward a wrong love of the marvelous and mysterious, which leads to the belief that whatever is remote must be better than what is near."

"If my soul could get away from this so-called prison, be granted all the list of attributes generally bestowed on spirits, my first ramble on spirit-wings would not be among the volcanoes of the moon...My first journeys would be into the inner substance of flowers, and among the folds and mazes of Yosemite's falls."

"Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life...All is divine harmony."

"The mountains are fountains of men as well as of rivers, of glaciers, of fertile soil. The great poets, philosophers, prophets, able men whose thoughts and deeds have moved the world, have come down from the mountains--mountain-dwellers who have grown strong there with the forest trees in Nature's work-shops."

"Clusters of peaks stand revealed harmoniously correlated and fashioned like works of art--eloquent monuments of the ancient ice rivers that brought them into relief from the general mass of the range...Nature's poems carved on tables of stone."

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