John Muir


John Muir


J[anet Moores]


[4]spangles on rivers & lakes, light on the myraid stars of the snow, light sifthing through the angels of sun-[illegible]icebergs, light in glacier caves, missed spray raft= ing from white waterfalls, and the light of calm starry nights beheld from mountain tops dipping deep into the clear air.Aye my lassie it is a blessed thing to go [from?] in the light of this beauti -ful world to see God playing upon every thing, as a man would play on an musical instrument: His fingers upon the lightning & [illegible] [stricken word] any name of sea & sky and every living thing, [illegible] old together [illegible] & shine in [illegible]etc. some awakening of the Universe [illegible]what [illegible] milk so for & wide, now you are so over, and when I shall soon see you face to face. 01257[1]Martinez Cal. Feb. 23-'87 "My Dear Friend J-Have you really turned into a woman, & have you really come to California, the land of the sun, & Yosemite & a' that. through the whirl of all those years, Seas between us [illegible]has soared, my lassie, since the auld lange syne, and many a storm has roared over head mountains and plains since last we parted, yet - however are but little changed in all that signifies, saved from many dangers that we know, & from many more that we never shall know - kept - alive and well by a thousand thousand miracles.Twenty years! How long and how short a time that seems today,

[2]How many times the seas have ebbed & flowed with their white breaking waves around the edges of the Continents & islands in this same of years. How many times the sky has been light & dark, and the ground between us been shining with rain, and sun and snow; and how many times the flowers have bloomed, but for a "that & a' that - you seem just the same to me, & time & space & [illegible] hide you less than the thinnest veil. Marvelous indeed is the permanence of the impressions of those sunrise days - more enduring than granite mountains. Thought all the landscapes I have looked into - with all this wealth of forests, rivers, lakes & glaciers, & happy living faces, your face janet is still seen as clear & kindly outlined as on the day I went away on my long walk.[3]Aye, the auld lang syne is indeed young, times seems of no avail to make use old except in [minor?] outer aspects. Today you appear the same little fairy girl folliwng me in my walks with short steps as best you can stopping now & then to gether butter- cups, & anemones & [esignemas?], sometimes taking my hand in climbing over a fallen tree, threading your way through tall grasses & ferns, & pushing through very small spaces in thickets of under -brush. Surely you must remember those holiday walks, and also your coming into my dark room with light when I was blind, and waht light has filled me since that time I am sure you will be glad to know. The richest [illegible]gold flooring these Cal valleys, the spiritual [Alpenglow?] steeping the high peaks, silver light on the sea, the white glaciers[illegible]

[8]Believe me ever truly your friend John Muir[in margin: [691?]] 01257[5]I only meant to tell you that you were not forgotten. You think I may not know you at first sight; nor will you be likely to recognize me, every experience is readied on our fears, in character of some sort - I suppose and if at all telling my face should be quite picturesque, and marked enough to be readily known by anybody looking for me, but when I look in the glass, I see but little more than the marks of rough weather & fasting. Most people would see only a lot of hair and two eyes, or one & one half in the middle of it; like a hillside with small open spots; mostly overgrown with shaggy [stricken word] chaparral as this portrait will show. Wanda peeping past my elbow asks, "Is that you Papa"? and then

[6]goes on to say that it is just like me only the hair is not curley enough also that the little [illegible] & island sketeches are just lovely and that I must draw a [illegible] just like them for her. I think that you will surely like her. She remarked the other day that she was well worth saving now, having got a new gown or something that pleasure her. She is six years old. The and the pasture hills here about s are not very intersting at this time of year. In bloomtime now approaching the orchards look gay & dolly [illegible] and the home-[illegible] does the best it can with [illegible]& good in a fond & shelter may, but about as far from the forests & gardens, of God's wilderness, as bran-dolls are from children. I should like to show you my wild[7]lily & cassiope & hianthus gardens and home not made with hands, with thin daisy carpets & woods and [illegible] & other fine furnature and sin[illegible] not in cages but legs & ankles are immensely important on such visits; [illegible] unfortunately most girls are like flowers that have to stand and take what comes, or at lest ride on iron nails around & away from what is worth seeing, then they are still something like flowers. flowers in pots carried express. I advised you not to come last Friday because the weather was broekn, and the telephone was broken, and the roads were [mud?] but the weather will soon shine again, and then you & Mary can come with more comfort & safety. Remember we to Mary &


Martinez, California

Date Original

1887 Feb 23


Original letter dimensions: 20 x 25 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 05, Image 0784

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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