John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



sun. Contemplating the lake like fabric of the streams outspread over the mountains it occurred to me that everything is going somewhere flowing[s] animate & lifeless rocks & mountains as well as water. Thus the snow flows ( in avalanches & glaciers the air (flows) in [most] majestic floods & carries minerals, plant leaves pollen, seeds, etc. with streams of music & streams of fragrance & [the] water streams carry rock, streams of stone [particles], both in the form of mud particles & sand [stones] pebbles, boulders etc. & in solution & rocks flow from volcanoes like water from springs & animals flock together & flow in currents modified by stepping leaping gliding flying swimming etc. [Which] all the stars with our world to streaming through pulsed onward like blood globules in Natures warm [in the heart of Nature]

28) Glorious morning. The dawn a glorious song of color. Glorious day. Sky absolutely cloudless, [hoarfrost a fine crop] a fine crop of hoarfrost. [Glorious day] Warm after 10 o’clock. The gentians don’t mind the frost though their petals seem so delicate. They close them every night as if going to sleep. The grass is a shade browner since last week but there are no nipped wilted plants of any sort as far as I have seen. The butterflies & the grand host of smaller flies are benumbed every night but they hover & dance in the sunbeams over the meadows before noon with no apparent thinning out of their numbers. But soon they will all fall like petals in an orchard, dry & wrinkled not a wing of all the myriads left to mottle the sunbeams, yet like (flowers ripe or frozen) [the hosts of plant people they will rise again in the spring [their seeds-eggs mostly invisible to us preserved like those of] [which]


[sketch removed]

[rise from the dead] invincibly vital & beautiful as if laughing frosty [&] death to scorn.

29) Clouds about .05 as usual slight frost. Bland serene Indian Summer weather. Have been gazing all day at the mountains watching the changing lights. More & more plainly are they clothed with light as a garment, while tinged with pale purple, palest during the midday hours [thickest] richest in the morning & evening. Everything seems consciously peaceful thoughtful, faithfully waiting God’s will.

30) This day just like yesterday. A few clouds motionless & apparently with no work to do beyond beauty [ornament]. Frost enough to build [hang] crystals on the grass stems & leaves [& every branch of the airy panicles]. A glorious mass of bloom destined to last but an hour. How lavish is Nature – building, pulling down, creating, destroying, chasing every material particle from form to form, unhalting but beautiful.

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel31 Notebook 009 Img044.jpg

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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