I came across a quote by John Muir earlier this Summer and was struck by the force, word pictures, and the originality of it Got me to thinking, I wonder if the other things he’d written would have the same zing. So last week I finally received a book I’d bought on a hunch.
It is called : John Muir His Life and Letters and Other Writings
907 pages of pure escape.
Before discovering that quote (which I will include at the end of this post) the only things I could tell you about the guy was he had something to do with helping to establish some of the National parks with Theodore Roosevelt, had a woods named after him in California, and according to an anecdotal story, climbed a tree in the middle of a thunderstorm “Just to experience it first hand.”
I asked two of the guys I was working with last week if either one of them had heard of John Muir? Neither one of them had, although the guy with the college degree did say, he “thought he’d heard his name before but couldn’t tell you anything about him.”
Give me a book with personal letters and journal entries any day over formal biographies. They give an intimate glimpse into a person’s life that can’t be done any other way.
I’ve discovered Muir and I share several things in common….(interests and personality traits) As I’ve shared some of my discoveries with my wife, repeatedly she’s commented, “Boy, he sounds a lot like you!” (Even to our shared interest in saving, pressing and drying of wild flowers.)
So there you have it.
I’m all about balance and pacing myself, emotionally, spiritually, etc.
Thought I would give you a little peek into a book that is allowing me to pull that off currently.
Here are some excerpts from John Muir.
You may recognize the first one. Think I included it in a blog post earlier this summer.
“The mountain winds, like the dew and rain, sunshine and snow, are measured and bestowed with love on the forests to develop their strength and beauty. …. the winds go to every tree, fingering every leaf and branch and furrowed bole; not one is forgotten; the Mountain Pine towering with outstretched arms on the rugged buttresses of the icy peaks, the lowliest and most retiring tenant of the dells; they seek and find them all, caressing them tenderly, bending them in lusty exercise, stimulating their growth, plucking off a leaf or limb as required, or removing an entire tree or grove, now whispering and cooing through the branches like a sleepy child, now roaring like the ocean; the winds blessing the forests, the forests the winds, with ineffable beauty and harmony as the sure result…
….. pines six feet in diameter bending like grasses before a mountain gale…..”
“Keep close to nature’s heart….and break clear away once in a while,
and climb a mountain, or spend a week in the woods.
Wash your spirit clean.”
How about you? Did you ever hear about John Muir while you were in school?
If this is the first time you’ve ever heard about him, I would encourage you to look him up on line, then come back here and tell me something you discovered. DM