I gathered pocketfuls of shells, mostly small but fine in color and form and bits of rosy coral. Then I amused myself by watching the varying colors of the waves and the different forms of their curved and blossoming crests. While thus alone and free it was interesting to learn the richly [varying] songs, or what we mortals call “the roar” of expiring breakers. I compared their variations with the different distances to which the broken wave-waters reached landward in their farthest foam wreaths and endeavored to form some ideas of the one great song sounding forever all around the white blooming shores of the world. Rising from my shell seat I returned to the outside of Nature, watched when a wave leaping from the deep came far up the beveled strand to bloom and die in a mass of white, then I would follow the spent waters in
Original journal dimensions: 10 x 16.5 cm.
Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist