Birthday of John Muir | Naming the Days


Born in Scotland in 1838, John Muir immigrated to the USA at eleven years previous. He grew up roaming the woods and fields round his household dwelling in Wisconsin earlier than discovering his solution to California the place his coronary heart was captured by the Sierra Nevadas. A naturalist, botanist, and geologist (with specialised information of glaciers), Muir spent his life exploring the Sierras, the Pacific Coast, and Alaska.

However saying that Muir “studied nature” is like saying that mystics examine sacred texts: it tells us what he examined and leaves out how and to what finish — and for Muir, these had been every thing. Whether or not he was writing a couple of fowl, flower, discipline, or mountain, Muir noticed all of nature deeply, seeing past coloration, form, and dimension — past all classification — into its character and immense energy to encourage marvel and reverence. For Muir, the wilderness was a temple and sauntering round it a religious observe. With infectious enthusiasm, Muir wrote concerning the rivers of the Sierra Nevada as “his kids” and about greeting boulders as fellow vacationers, asking them “whence they got here and whither they’re going.”

Muir’s kinship and intimacy with wildness nurtured his absolute devotion to defending it. He’s typically known as “The Father of Our Nationwide Park System” due to his advocacy on behalf of Yosemite, Sequoia, Mount Rainier, and Grand Canyon Nationwide Parks. Essentially the most rewarding fruits of his celebration and protection of wilderness, nonetheless, got here in 1892 when the Sierra Membership was based and selected him as their first president.

Muir’s legacy is the continued invitation for us to ponder, respect, and defend the pure world round us.

To Identify This Day:

Religious Practices

Take heed to One in every of Nature’s Sermons: For Muir, nature was each church and sacred textual content. He wrote this about Yosemite Valley: “Nowhere will you see the majestic operations of nature extra clearly revealed beside the frailest, most light and peaceable issues. Almost all of the park is a profound solitude. But it is stuffed with charming firm, filled with God’s ideas, a spot of peace and security amid essentially the most exalted grandeur and keen enthusiastic motion, a brand new track, a spot of beginnings abounding in first classes on life, mountain-building, everlasting, invincible, unbreakable order; with sermons in stones, storms, timber, flowers, and animals brimful of humanity.”

Discover an animal or pure object in your setting and picture what it could “preach.” What tone are its phrases taking? What thought is God expressing by it?

Saunter: Requested how he felt concerning the phrase hike, Muir lit up with this response: “I don’t like both the phrase or the factor. Folks must saunter within the mountains — not hike! Have you learnt the origin of that phrase ‘saunter?’ It is a fantastic phrase. Away again within the Center Ages individuals used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when individuals within the villages by which they handed requested the place they had been going, they’d reply, “A la sainte terre,’ ‘To the Holy Land.’ And they also turned referred to as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we must saunter by them reverently, not ‘hike’ by them.”

Muir’s account of saunter’s etymology invitations us to attach going gradual with experiencing the sacred. As we speak, “saunter” by some a part of your routine that you simply usually “hike” by and see how slowing down adjustments how you’re feeling concerning the exercise, your environment, and your self.

Make a Conservation Dedication: From 1901-1913, Muir and the Sierra Membership led an effort to guard the Hetch Hetchy Valley from a proposed dam undertaking that would offer electrical energy for San Francisco. They stirred up a large public marketing campaign; nonetheless, Congress accredited the dam in 1913, and town drowned this lovely valley. This passage describing Hetch Hetchy is one instance of the zeal with which Muir fought to guard our pure assets: “The elegant rocks of its partitions appear to glow with life, whether or not leaning again in repose or standing erect in considerate attitudes, giving welcome to storms and calms alike, their brows within the sky, their toes set within the groves and homosexual flowery meadows, whereas birds, bees, and butterflies assist the river and waterfalls to stir all of the air into music — issues frail and fleeting and kinds of permanence assembly right here and mixing, simply as they do in Yosemite, to attract her lovers into shut and confiding communion together with her.”

The Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite Nationwide Park earlier than and after the Raker Act was handed. Courtesy of Restore Hetch Hetchy.

Ponder this earlier than and after image of Hetch Hetchy Valley. Then commit your self to preserving one thing that you simply love.


Supply hyperlink
We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply