John Muir


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8 the shrubs & half buried ferns of the floor to the topmost ranks of jeweled pine-spires is all one finished unit of divine beauty, weighed in [the celestial] balances & found perfect

Christmas brought us a cordial gentle soothing snowstorm—a thing of plain palpable innocent beauty that the frailest child would love. The myriad [spotless] diamonds of the sky came gracefully in great congregational flakes, not falling or floating but just coming to their appointed places upon rock & leaf in a loving living way of their own. Snow-gems-flowers of the mountain clouds, in whose [rocks &] folds & [hills & dales] fields all rivers [take their] rise. The floral stars of the fields above are planted [like parasites] upon all [plants of] the fields below. The pines, the naked oaks, [& all] the bushes, --the Mosses too, & crumpled ferns—are all in equal bloom & belong to the same one great icy order. [All even] The very rocks are phaenogamous

9 Our little meadow lying like a patch of brown cloth suddenly stretched away into a vast & boundless plain for the mighty ramparts of the valley are hidden, [taken down for a time] & we feel as if in a wide plain occasionally a thin failing place in the storm recalls our rocks in dim uncertain patches wonderfully smoothed & softened. But now the last sky blossom has fallen. The clouds depart in separate companies, leaving the valley open to other influences & communions. Every tree seems to be possessed with a new kind of life, in sounds & gestures they are, new creatures, born again. The whole valley sparkling in the

Date Original

November 1869


Original journal dimensions: 10 x 16.5 cm.

Resource Identifier



Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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