John Muir


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12 13 Sounds

I [betray] [these] [canons] he [walks] [never] [satisfying] [ ] upon a [sound] [never] still [moves] still more softly overhead, [now] [crisply] stepping on crisp [leaves] [ ] [on] naked crystal rock [leaping] [ere] he is [ ] [his] head anywhere [ ] [how] his heels going when & how they will.

There is a sounding ah-ing in the woods You hear it & know that a storm is nigh & every tree knows it & every branch in their waving. & look down & [consider] the grasses[they] [too] every panicle swaying this way & that revealing the thousand minor ripples & eddies into which all wind is broken.

Fire The impetuous rush of [flame] from a dead pine would seem to show that not only the sun but also [all] the storm winds that had [ever] beat & surged through as boughs had been imprisoned & stored up in the cells. Where the crowns of 5 or 6 trees come together, is the spot for a camp bed.

14 Though Nature (in her green) tranquil woods heals & soothes all afflictions Yet this prime uses are not from healing & consolation but for food for the healthy, & the healthiest robust minds & bodys will enjoy the most will find Nature most fitted to feed and exhilarate. The woods are made for the wise & strong in their very essence they are the counterparts of man. So that their beauty all their [forms] & voices & scents seem as they really are reminiscences of something already experienced in some kind or other. Let an imprisoned man see the grand woods for the very first time no matter if not even in a picture had him first seen he would enjoy their beauty & feel their [fitness] as if they had heard & learned of them from childhood.

[How] little note is taken of the deeds of Nature What paper publishes her reports. If one [pine] were placed in town sq [square] what admiration it would excite yet who

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 20 x 15 cm.

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist