John Muir


[John Muir]


Janet [Moores]


[4]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 world[1]Martinez, 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

[2]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 [3]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

[1]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 [5]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

[6]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 this[7]but 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


Martinez, Calif.

Date Original

1887 Feb 20


Original letter dimensions: 20 x 25.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 05, Image 0776

Copyright Statement

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

Owning Institution

University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.

Copyright Holder

Muir-Hanna Trust

Copyright Date



4 pages



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