John Muir (1838 – 1914) was the founder of the Sierra Club. As a naturalist, avid hiker and author, he devoted his life to the preservation of wilderness areas, including Yosemite and Sequoia. He is considered by many to be the patron saint of modern environmental preservation and the father of our national parks. A prolific writer, his words capture the beauty and spirit of a walk in nature. Here are just a few of those words:
- The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.
- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.
- Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountain is going home; that wildness is necessity; that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.
- Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.
- When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.
- Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.
- In God’s wildness lies the hope of the world—the great fresh unblighted, unredeemed wilderness. The galling harness of civilization drops off, and wounds heal ere we are aware.
- Few are altogether deaf to the preaching of pine trees. Their sermons on the mountains go to our hearts; and if people in general could be got into the woods, even for once, to hear the trees speak for themselves, all difficulties in the way of forest preservation would vanish.