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

Collection Identifier

Online finding aid for the microform version of the John Muir Correspondence

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

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.

Copyright Holder

Muir-Hanna Trust

Copyright Date



4 pages


Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters



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