holiday walks and also your coming with light into my dark room when I was blind, and what light has blessed me ever since that ime I am sure you will be glad to know Valleys full of Mr. [illegible]gold fo the [ illegible]& a thousand mountains steepest & aflame in the aperature [illegible] glow & silvery light on the sea & the whole fantasy sun spangles on at waves & cukes light and the myriad stars of the snow light sifting through the angels fo [illegible] icebergs. [illegible]in the cases of glaciers would [illegible] in clouds from [stricken word] snowy praterfalts. & the light of starry nights beheld from [stricken word] mountaintops dipping deep into the thin clear air.Aye my basic its a fine [illegible] to [stricken word] go free in the light of this beautiful worldMartinez, Cal Feb 20, 1887My dear friend Janet and are you really here [illegible][stricken word] [much illegible additions] (the days of) auld Lang syne & many a storm two [stricken word] roared over board [illegible] of land seems last you [illegible] & hest here we are (just the same) in all that signifies preserved from many dangers that we know & many more that we never shall know - kipt alive & well [illegible] thousand thousand miracles twenty years.How long & how short a time that seems today! How many times the seas have ebbed & flowed with thin- white-breaking waves around the sides of the continents & islands
in this score of years how many times the sky has been light & dark & the ground betwen us been shining with - rain & snow & sun & how many times the [stricken word] years & hrs have bloomed [stricken words] . And yet for a' that & a' that [stricken words] you seem just the same Janet & time & space & events - hide you less than the thinnest veil. Wonderful indeed is the permanence of the unprin[illegible] of those sunrise days more enduring than the Granite Mountains [stricken words] Into how many landscapes I have looked (since I last saw you) into how many rivers & lakes & glacier & into the faces of how many flrs01256 and birds & [illegible] & people yet your face Janet seems as clear & keenly outlined in the midst of them all as on the day I went away on my long walk into God's grand wilderness [many stricken and added words].Aye the Auld Lang Syne seems indeed young time seasons of no avild to [stricken word] make us old except [stricken word] in mere outer aspects Today you appear to me [stricken word] the same little fairy girl following me in my walks as best you can with short steps stopping now & then to gather buttercups anemones & [illegible] sometimes taking my hand in getting over a fallen tree threading your way though [stricken word] the tall grasses & ferns [stricken word] & pushing yourself through very small spaces in thickets of underbrush surely you must remember those
of the wilderness as saw-dust dolls are from our children and friends. I should like to show you my wild gardens of lilies & cassiope & [brynnthno?] & homes made without [hard?] [illegible] - thin daisy carpets - & woods & streams & other fine furniture & singers not in cages but legs & ankles are immensely important on such visits. Unfortunately most girls are like flowers that have to stand still & take what comes or at best get astride two iron rails & ride in curves that are carefully driven around & away from what is best worth seeing Then they are still something like flrs--flrs in a pot sent C. O. D by lightening express. I advised you not to come last Friday because the weather was so uncertain & the Contra Costa roads were all [illegible] mud & because the bed of the railroad is always less to be depended on immediately691012562 to see God playing upon everything as a man would play on an instrument His fingers upon the lightening & torrent & the glacier on every wave & on every crystal & every living thing making all together sing & ring & shine in sweet accord the one grand [love] harmony of the universe. But what need to write so far & wide now you are so near & when I shall so soon see you face to face. I only meant to tell you that you were not forgotten--& not likely to be forgotten. You say that you think I may not be able to recognize you. Well it is less likely that you should know me when you come I suppose every experience is
recorded in our countenances & therefore mine should be quite marked & picturesque but when I look in the glass I see only the marks of rough weather & fasting, not much of feasting loving. Most people would see only a lot of hair with two eyes or one & a half in the middle or with small open spots--mostly overgrown with shaggy chaparal something like thisbut never mind that face will soon be familiar again & you will see Mrs. Muir & my sister & two little girls. Wanda is six yrs old & told us the other day that she is well worth seeing having got a new gown or something that pleased her. The ranch & cottage & the pasture hills hereabouts--are not very interesting to a naturalist In bloomtime the orchards look gay & dolly vardenish & the garden about the house does the best it can with its rosebushes etc. All good in a food way but as far from the forests & gardens
1887 Feb 20
Original letter dimensions: 20 x 25.5 cm.
Muir, John, "Letter from [John Muir] to Janet [Moores], 1887 Feb 20." (1887). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 1708.
Reel 05, Image 0776
The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust. To purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish or exhibit them, see http://www.pacific.edu/Library/Find/Holt-Atherton-Special-Collections/Fees-and-Forms-.html
Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.
Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters