John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



majestic stairway into the ice-sculptured lake basin [of the lake]; every step of the way so full of interest that each one would make a good satisfying journey of itself, a good point for the beginning & ending of the best day of one’s life [For all the landscape is one[& continuous] like a river with many fountains flowing from the treasure of snow now gliding gently through meadows] The snow on the high fountains is [was] melting last & the streams are bank full, down in the canyons booming like thunder. There singing like [small] birds, swaying softly [now] pools swirling in [in pools and] potholes, resting in [shining lake] leaping shouting in [with] wild exalting [ bouncing] energy [in] over rough boulder dams [while foaming falls sweeping] through the level garden[s][& groves in sunshine & shadow] meadows & bogs quivering with sun spangles ever varying, ever beautiful [yet ever one & interesting everywhere] in joyful accord [with the first] creations [song of creation] [song of creation][everywhere]. Nature’s [The] Sierra landscape that I have seen holds anything [nothing that is] truly dead of dull [ or without interest.] Everything is perfectly clean & pure & harmonious, full of [the] divine [invites & promises a] lessons & blessings. This [universality of] quick inevitable interest attaching to everything seems [truly] marvelous until the hand of God becomes visible then it seems [may well be] reasonable that what interests Him may well interest us. [There is nothing visible hereabouts] no trace of what in manufactories is called [that one calls] rubbish or waste [in manufactories, nothing that is laying loose or separate. When we try to pick out anything by itself we find that it is bound [fast] by innumerable [a thousand invisible] unbreakable cords [that cannot be broken] to everything else in the universe


One fancies a heart like our own must be beating [I fancy I can hear a heart beating] in every crystal [in every grain of sand & see a wise plan in the making & shaping & placing of every one of them] Everything [All seems to be dancing [in harmony with the firs] in time to divine music of Creation] [like the very sons of God [ ] & shouting for joy] Nature [as Love] as a Poet as a busy enthusiastic working man [is] becomes more visible & more [the] [ everyday] we go [in the mountains than any other place I have yet seen, perhaps because] for the mountains are fountains, beginning places, however related to sources [fountains far away] beyond mortal ken [the utmost reach of mortals vision. In my walk] today one feels [I felt] like stopping to talk to the plants we meet [all the flowers & to admire them and] congratulating them on their health & beauty & fine homes [fine healthy beautiful faces & fine homes & to every tree blessed by so many storms & such clean vitalizing] so much sunshine [and] to the [many] streams in their wonderful channels [flowing on such beautiful rocks & through so many charming meadows & gardens & grove and] to the great granite domes & mountains in glorious strength & majesty at rest in the sky [of granite bent up into the blue air & the mountains] resting in such manifest east & strength & majesty[& wearing their robes of] [clad with] snow & light [with such unspeakable][sending their wealth to the lowlands.] The meadows that lay in my way are [mostly] of three kinds: 1) Those contained in basins not yet filled with earth enough to make a dry surface. These are planted with various species of Carex mostly & have their margins

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel31 Notebook07 Img069.jpg

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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