John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



film fitted like a skin upon the rugged anatomy of the landscape [a coiling steaming poultice of universal application. [& all] Making the rocks [ground] shine[s] like silver, gathering in the ravines, flooding the streams & making them shout & boom in reply to the thunder. [now like a lake & mirrors the streaming sky at every angle.] How interesting to trace the history of a single raindrop. It is not long, geologically speaking as we have seen since the first raindrop fell on [the present landscape of] these Sierra landscapes when they were [born] of vegetation. How much happier the lot of those [are falling] now. Happy the showers that fall on so fair a wilderness, scarce a single drop can fail to find a beautiful [spot to strike] on the tops of the peaks [alps] on the smooth glacier pavements on the [curves of the] great bald domes, on the brushy moraines, [full of crystals, for the thousand forms of Yosemite sculpture] laving, plashing, glinting, pattering. some going to the high [crystal] snowy fountains to swell their well-saved stores, some [falling softly on] to the meadows & bogs, creeping [at once] silently out of sight to the grass roots [out of sight] Some through the spires of the woods sifting in a spray [fine dust] through the needles, whispering peace & good cheer [sweet hope] to each of them. Some falling [giving] in to the lakes & the rivers, [plumping] dimpling, patting the smooth glassy levels, making dimples & bubbles & spray [washing the meandering winds][some falling plashing in to the heart of the snowy] falls & cascades,


[sketch cut out: Looking down Yo’ [Yosemite] Valley from summit of N [north] Dome 1869]

as if eager to join in their dance & the song & beat the foam yet finer. Good luck my good work for the [merry] happy mountain raindrops, each one of them a high [brave] waterfall in itself falling from the cliffs & hollows of the clouds, to the cliffs & hollows of the rocks [mountains] [sheer into the cataracts, how many thousand feet beneath them, away from the thunder] out of the sky thunder into the thunder of the falling rivers. Trans back Some into [mossy] bogs hiding softly as in a nest, [resting out of sight] creeping, oozing, hither thither seeking & finding every [delicate] thirsty rootlet [designing great things doubtless in this silent tranquil solitude.] Some drips with happy aim glinting o the sides of crystals

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel31 Notebook07 Img039.jpg

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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