Jeanne [C.] Carr
too large for a single life, and requires Eternity. But surely it is wiser to lay the foundations deep enough for a structure that shall outlast the fleeting years. In my private prayer book I find this petition - "Oh Lord help me to feel in my heart the leisure in which thou dost work thy works, and teach me the secret of that Labor which is not Toil." - a prayer for a woman whose life seems always to be used up in little trifling things, never labeled 'done' and laid away as a mans may be. Then as a woman I have often to consider not the lilies only, in their perfection but the humble, honest wayside grasses and weeds, sturdily filling their places through such repeated discouragements. I think I can sympathise in your sigh - "I shall die before I accomplish what I desire." Yes, dear friend, we have to die to
be what we seek, to gain what we pray for, and what faith does for us is to enable us to reach out joyously into that unseen future; to expect it as one of the things of tomorrow. I have thought much of you in reading lately of the life of Charles Goodyear, the "India rubber Man", whose whole existence was a battle with adversity. He does not seem to have lived so near the heart of Nature, or found her balms for his wounded spirit, but he was haunted with inventions. they tortured him sleeping or waking until he worked them into visible forms. A great mechanical ge- nius is a wonderful gift, something one should hold in trust for man- kind, a kind of seal & private mark which God has placed upon souls especially his own. For all these must look into the far future for
There is a very gay butterfly spor- ting about them while I write, and in the window a bundle of twigs with large chrysalids, which I look to for a supply of these winged blossoms in the dreary season. I have a hope of going out upon a farm near Madison with my boys, and bringing them up in the healthy exercise of all their faculties upon a farm. I think Dr Carr would be proud of sleek cattle & waving harvests that had the seal of his owner- ship upon them; while the return wave of the war has flooded Madison with so much wickedness that I long to be out of sight of it, and gives us a reason for making the change. We shall not go very far, and you will find us easily. Dear Mr Muir, I was very much gratified by your excellent letter, to which this is a very poor return
their rewards; many when the world owes civilization, advancement, freedom from the rank materialism of want sleep in nameless graves, and others reap what they sowed. But they are still the blessed workers working on through other hands while they truly rest from their labors & sorrows. Madison Sunday evening. I wish you were here in the 'ker- nel' of the house. It looks very pleasant especially when the wind howling with -out. I would give you your choice between talking and singing. I have built up two very pretty min- iature Wardian cases, which are filled with mosses, ferns and lichens, all growing very nicely. You would help me to contrive a tiny fountain if you should see them, then they would be perfect. They rest me when I am tired, and I think you might continue a little comfort for yourself by piling up some pretty lichen covered stones on an old plate and dropping soil among them plant therein a few mosses, which want nothing but shade and water to make them grow.
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Sauk City, Sept 24.
This lovely Sabbath eveing finds me in the delicious quiet of the coun- try, with cow bells tinkling instead of steeple chimes, the drone and chirp of myriad insects for choral service, depending for a sermon upon the purple bluffs and flowing river. - "One lesson, Nature, let me learn of thee, One lesson, that in every mind is blown, One lesson, of two duties served in one, Though the loud world proclaims their emity Of Toil unsevered from Tranquility, Of Labor, that in still advance outgrows Far noisier schemes, accomplished in repose, For great for haste, too high for rivalry". I see from your letter that you suffer from that which is my most grievous burden - the pressure of Time upon Life. The scale on which our studies has been planned is indeed
Your little friends are all well. I will not keep this longer on the hope of finding leisure to fill it, for my hands are at present full of work. Believe in my cordial & constant interest in all that con- cerns you, and that I have a pleas- ant way of associating you with my highest & purest enjoyments. Dr Carr sends his best regards and I am Always your friend Jeanne Carr
Sauk City, [Wisc.]
Original letter dimensions: 17.5 x 23.0 cm
Carr, Jeanne C., "Letter from Jeanne C. Carr to John Muir, 1865 Sep 24" (1865). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 1172.
Reel 01, Image 0720
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