Mrs. J. B. McChesney
(Original letter in possession of Mrs. J.B. McChesney)
Sunday, [after 1895]
Dear Mrs. McChesney:
Yours of the 14 set me thinking -- and I “believe I have shirked letter writing, and neglected my friends who are good beyond any desert of mine. Browning's line is apropos of this --
“If you loved only who are worth your love That were clear gain, and wholly well for you.”
But even justice compels me to say that I was, and am still very inert, from the long tension, I suppose.
I am not well, but neither am I diseased in any organ of my faithful old body, which I like well enough to have duplicated for use in the hereafter. I mean to treat it better, in the years remaining.
If you were only here to look upon Mt. Wilson in his robe of snow, to see the train twisting and winding; and just at this moment, Echo Mountain throws down a stream of electric light.
One gets a singular, almost profane sentiment of elation in witnessing these human accomplishments; there are who think Prof. Lowe has it in excess; but he burst his bigness in a balloon when his critics wore petticoats; and I like him and love his energetic, too little appreciated wife. There is, however, a little forcing in the interest I am taking in outside, and outgrown affairs.
Physically I was much below par; when I began to size up my resources; but on the whole as well as any one could expect.
We are burning mesquite wood; and if you and J. B. were drawn up to that aid of glowing coals; you would say you never saw anything so near sunshine, for cheer. Dr. Carr enjoyed it greatly, and it is a great comfort to remember the many expressions of a grateful spirit in his long years of waiting for rest.
I have thought of you in reading Muir's book*; no doubt he sent you a copy. I had a very precious letter from him and from Mrs. Strentzel. Nothing that I have read on related subjects equals some of Muir's pages.
Do you know that I had one day a feeling that Mr. [President] Durant was very near us; just towards the last on earth of my dear husband d. 1895. I had not thought of him for many a year; that I recollect. It is a little inexplicable that one so long out of mind should present himself to one's memory instead of; say my father, always my support in every trial while he lived. I should so love to have your company to the Mountain, to have you read the evening paper by searchlight in my north window, to speak of deeper, higher spiritual themes. Just now I cannot leave my sons. We are only three, the family divided between two shores. Thanks for your dear letter,
*Mountains of California
Original letter dimensions unknown.
Carr, Jeanne C., "Letter from Jeanne Carr to Mrs. J. B. McChesney, [ca. 1885]." (1895). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 3182.
Reel 08, Image 1337
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Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters