John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



[ ] [angel little] witnesses to [the] [Nature’s] love [of God] [Nature] in what we in our timid ignorance & unbelief call [a cruel] howling deserts the surface of the ground so dull[& gray] & forbidding at first sight, besides being rich in plants [was] shines[ing] with crystals [mostly] mica & hornblende, [and] feldspar [and] quartz & tourmaline [both clear & smoky]. The radiance in [shining] some places is [was] so great as to be fairly dazzling. [pure] keen white lance rays in glorious abundance [were] stream[ing] flashing sparkling like a starry sky [as if one were walking in the sky among the thickest star clusters.] Pure love words are these crystals [also] & a fit soil they make for plants [flower angels however so spiritual and] so pure. [Aye, pure & holy is all the gray savage [looking] mountain found to be. Who can tell us anything of a heaven better than this crystal & flowery & light-filled Mt Hoffmann. Nothing finer [it seems to me comes] [is within the scope of human understanding.] Polemanium is common here, Jacobs ladder [is] set at the gate of this mountain heaven [from the slopes of all these mountains.] Every flower, every crystal is a window [of] opening into heaven, a mirror reflecting the Creator [in which God is reflected to mortal eyes] I drifted [about] from garden to garden


[from peak] ridge to ridge [peak] enchanted. Now on my knees gazing into the face of a daisy [flower], now climbing among the purple & azure [flowers] cones of the Hemlocks [new spruce], now down into the treasures of the snow & now gazing afar over domes & peaks & lakes & woods & the billowy glaciated fields of [shining granite in] the upper Tuolumne & trying to sketch them. In the midst of such beauty ones body is all one tingling palate. Leave me in this Godful wilderness pierced with its rays flesh & bones as well as eyes & there who will may gather & possess all the prize the world has to offer. [All the vast circumference of landscapes drenched with floods of pure thin spiritual fountain light. [No wonder Joshua thought the sun stopped for him in his great battle day] The sun stood still as far as I was concerned. I was then] no longer young or old, [great or small I was dissolved & fluent in the general harmony I am all eye all one tingling palate, already become immortal. [every one of these mountain days. [one day on the mountain is/was like a thousand years even to me & truly felt & enjoyed as such portion of a terrestrial immortality. No longer not on the world but in it. Throbbing [pulsing onward in the one universal flood of creation in God.] Of the lakes visible [I saw] from the summit the largest is Tenaya, [perhaps] a mile long with an imposing mountain dipping its feet into it on the south side, Cathedral Peak a little above its head, & smooth swelling rock masses & domes

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel31 Notebook07 Img064.jpg

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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