[First draft of letter, in note-book #59] (68)
Oct. 22, 1900.
My dear Miss Graydon:
The ferns are here in perfect order, and they are lovely, neatly pressed and packed and named, and I thank you very much.
Of course you know you have my sympathy in your loneliness caused by the deposition from earth of your great aunt [Catherine Merrill], the pole star and lodestone of your life, and of how many other lives. What she was to me and what I thought of her I wrote to Mrs. Moores for a memorial book her many friends are preparing. A rare, beloved soul, a pure blessing sent of God, her work done, gone to the better Land. And now you must get used to seeing her there and hold on to her as your guide as before.
Poor Janet is not gaining strength, her mother tells me, but is still able to know her friends and to love them. Wanda, as you know, is going to school in Berkeley and expects to enter the University soon. She is a faithful steady scholar, quiet, womanly, not in the least odd or brilliant, but strong-willed, earnest, and unstoppable as an avalanche. She comes home every Friday evening or Saturday morning, returning Monday mornings by the new railway that crosses the vineyards a few hundred yards south from the house. Muir Station is a little beyond the east boundary of the vineyard on the Brown hill. Helen takes great delight in watching the trains whirl by, and in meeting Wanda and seeing her off. What kind of education she will choose I don't know.
We are all about as usual. I suppose you know we have my sister Sarah with us, making four Muirs, half of the family. David's son William is now with his father on the old ranch, a great help to him. May's baby is of course a transcendental wonder - she actually toddles and talks. Just think of it - if you doubt it, ask May.
Write us a long letter and let us know how you prosper now the plague cloud is gone and the sky of your lovely island clear once more.
Many thanks. God bless you,
Ever your friend,
02890 [Original letter returned to Miss Katherine M. Graydon]
Martinez, Oct.22, 1900.
My dear Miss Graydon:
The ferns are here, a splendid lot, in perfect order, and they are lovely. Of course you know you have my sympathy in your loneliness -- loneliness not of miles but of loss - the departure from earth of your great aunt Kate, the polestar and lodestone of your life and of how many other lives. What she was to me and what I thought of her I have written and sent to your Aunt Julia for a memorial book her many friends are preparing. A rare beloved soul sent of God, all her long life a pure blessing. Her work is done; she has gone to the Better Land, and now you must get used to seeing her there and hold on to her as your guide as before...
Poor Janet is not gaining strength, her mother tells me, but is still able to know her friends and to love them.
Wanda, as you know, is going to school, and expects soon to enter the University. She is a faithful, steady scholar, not in the least odd or brilliant,but earnest and unstoppable as an avalanche. She comes home every Friday or Saturday by the new railway that crosses the vineyards near the house. Muir Station is just above the Held house. What sort of a scholar Helen will be I don't know. She is very happy and strong. My sister Sarah is now with us, making four Muirs here, just half the family..We are all about as usual. May's*baby is a transcendental wonder - she actually toddles and talks.
Write us a long letter and let us know how yon prosper now the plague clouds are gone and the sky of your lovely isleAis once more clear. Helen, looking over my shoulder, sends love. Many [H.W&H] thanks - God bless you.
Ever your friend,
[Envelope addressed Miss Katherine Graydon. Honolulu, Hawaii.]
1900 Oct 22
Original letter dimensions unknown.
Muir, John, "Letter from John Muir to Charlie [A. Keeler], 1900 Oct 20." (1900). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 4321.
Reel 11, Image 0395
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