John Muir


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# Nature can make us do anything catching, carrying, pushing, pulling, coaxing, luring us onward in the ways she wants us to go making the weak strong, the faint-hearted & fearful brace as the bravest, making heroes of cowards to compass her ends. All but killing us to teach us our lesson neither man or dog or any other of God’s fellows can avoid a danger made for him, or meet one not appointed or intended for him.

Now this time had come there was no more weak noise or wavering the little coward became courageous. This wee seeker cowrin’ fronted his fate took his life in his hand, or foot rather, & nerved himself for the trial that would best the nerve of the bravest. Crouching above the first step slipping his feet into it, etc.

Come now, courage my boy it’s a good bridge broad as yourself. Come on, steady boy cautious boldness [courage] will get us over

No other animal did so much for me, multiplied [indefinitely]

Through him saw all the animal kingdom

How could as much sagacious misery come from so small a source now so vivid & speaking. His soul spoke them


Nearly all my excursions in the Sierra were made on foot & as I carried no gun & did not allow the pursuit of game to interfere with my studies. I killed nothing & therefor had to carry my provisions & as this was all I could do I could not have the pleasure of the companionship of a dog. But on this canoe trip instead of 30 or 40 pounds of food I could carry a 1000 & so a dog could be fed without trouble.

After our adventure there was a good understanding & confidence between us & frequently in camp he would come & lay his head on my knee & look up into my eyes as if trying to say, “That was a dreadful time you & me had that day on the ice bridge”

He kept his heart private & his thoughts also as much as possible only something would at times escape from his eyes

Even his limbs were mostly invisible, none of his features were telling save eyes, so it was hard to guess what he was going to do

# The majesty of this new morning with its [the] triumphant storm [of the storm] none exposed to its enchantments could be calm. It bore all common caution & comfort before it like the pine needles & drops of rain. We were pulsed along in the very blood of Nature & could feel every heartbeat storm days are holidays every leaf tuned & chanting in fine accord like a trained choir. No silence anywhere everything was singing. The drenched rocks the ice the trees every [leaf] bush & blade of grass as well as winds & streams. Small drops beating, beating following everywhere on stones glinting on angles of crystals. Flat leaves whispering cooing plashing on angles & hollows all throbbing in one song- eternal necessary

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MuirReel33 Notebook01 Img052.Jpeg

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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